Statutory duration of paternity leave, 2013
Paid maternity leaves are a key element for both infant and maternal health and an opportunity for female employment stability. Indeed, paid maternity leave facilitates breastfeeding, reduces risks of infection, increases emotional security, and secures the mother’s employment as protected by laws. While details of these elements (i.e. leave durations and monetary compensations) largely vary across countries (from few days to 62 weeks in Estonia and from no legal cash provision for the United States of America to 100% of previous earnings for other countries), the trend is globally positive and social protection is increasing overall. The International Labor Organization recommends at least a 12 week leave and income replacement standard stands at two-thirds of previous earnings.
For fathers, the situation is quite different. Where it exists, paternity leave duration ranges from one day in Tunisia to 90 in Iceland. Indeed, the standard is an absence of legislation that would allow new fathers to take care of his newly born child and his mother. This situation is the inheritance a patriarchal vision of society, in which men are not expected to actively participate in family life. In a future world with less work, this offers a good opportunity to rebalance work-private time and challenge this heritage for a better child development.
Emeric Nicolas, Head of Statistics – Sources: Beyond Rating, ILO