6 things governments around the world pay for that America doesnt
Some European countries, including Bulgaria, Greece, the UK, Slovakia, and Croatia, have national paid maternity leave policies. New Zealand also has a paid parental leave policy of 22 weeks. But the US doesn't have a national policy. Instead, maternity leave policies vary by employer — not all offer them, and not all are paid. Thus, new mothers have to sacrifice some of their salary to take time off.
It's worth noting that not all national parental leave policies are fully paid. In the UK, mothers get 52 weeks of maternity leave, but only 12 weeks are paid in full — the rest are paid partially, according to CNN.
One mother in France explained to NPR that you have to "give to the system" for countries to afford this leave. "Governments rely on a social insurance structure, where small contributions create a pool of money that workers can draw from when they need to take leave," wrote writer Jessica Deahl.
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