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Paternity allowance around the world

Paternity Allowance Around The World

Becoming a parent is always challenging. Especially, if you are brand new dad who is going to look after a brand new human being. It is not only about having an extremely important responsibility to ensure a right development of a newborn. It also involves a psychological comfort about being on paternity leave (social standards) and having fair allowance.

In this article we concentrate on the situation of paternity allowance around the world.

As stated by UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, analysis, “almost two-thirds of the world’s children under age 1 — nearly 90 million — live in countries where dads are not entitled by law to take paid paternity leave.” And in this case, an employer, is the one who dictates the conditions.

The chart below is produced by World Policy Analysis Center at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health. It explains a specific country’s policy on paid paternity leave. Five  colours identify the worldwide situation: red represents the most inadequate attitude and green shows satisfying conditions. This information can be compared with maternity leave allowances on a global scale.

paid parental leave
Credit:  WORLD Policy Analysis Center

Asia leads

Paternity policies are very well established in Japan and South Korea: a father can take one year of paid leave. However, it is not very common case for a man to use it.

Japan and South Korea have some of the most generous policies in the world. One year of paid leave is available for the father, but very few dads take advantage of it, according to the OECD.

No advantages in U.S.

The States doesn’t have a national law that guarantees paid parental leave for neither mothers or fathers. Even though, there are 4 million newborns in the country. The same situation can be found in China, India, South Sudan, Papua New Guinea, Suriname and five small Pacific Island states.

However, it is important to point out that a rising number of states is working on establishing paid leave policies. Moreover, it is more related with gender roles and equality rather than monetary benefits.

Low- and middle-income countries support paternity leave

The allowance rates aren’t high in those countries, but at least there is some kind of monetary help that provides better psychological comfort regarding paternity leave.

“That includes countries with high infant populations like Brazil, an upper middle-income country, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, a low-income country, which offer less than three weeks of paid paternity leave.”

Low- and lower-middle-income countries like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan or Mongolia propose more than 14 weeks of paid leave for dads.

Meanwhile, countries with higher income level offer more generous payouts. “Among middle-income countries, there are 14 countries that provide 14 weeks or more, and in high-income, 28 countries.”

Developing countries are still on progress

Developing countries are working on creating family-friendly policies. Since the beginning of the current century, a few countries in Africa have instituted paid paternity leave policies: Mauritius introduced one week, Rwanda introduced four days, and the Gambia introduced two weeks.”

In addition, India, with the highest infant population in the world, is proposing the Paternity Benefit Bill for consideration in the next session of parliament. This law could offer up to three months of paid paternity leave for dads.


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