This may sound like a riddle but it’s far from a laughing matter. Only four nations on Earth do not guarantee paid time-off to new mothers: the U.S., Liberia, Papua New Guinea, and Swaziland. Click on the link below to read the full research report.
Paid Leave in States Brief from National Center for Children in Poverty
Wait a second, here. I’m sure we’d all like oodels of paid maternity leave. I took unpaid leave from a teaching job (6 weeks) and an hourly retail job (12 weeks) for my babies and expected nothing more. Who do you think pays for maternity leave in those countries? Taxpayers. You. Out the ear, I might add. I’d rather have a productivity-based capitalist economy where I earn when I work than to work in a socialist country and pay huge amounts of taxes for 40 years, perhaps use one or two of those years staying home with a baby.Let’s compare an individual filer making $50K US dollars (all numbers are according to taxrate.com.cc) In the US, that person would pay approx. 20% to the government, including social security and Medicare. Approximate net monthly paycheck of $3300. This can obviously vary widely with deductions and such.An Austrian worker making $50K US has an effective tax rate of 33.73%. Net monthly paycheck would be $2761, or $539 less than the US worker. This doesn’t factor in their social security (not sure how it works). Also, Europeans pay a value-added tax (VAT) of 20% on nearly everything they buy. What’s your state sales tax rate? 6%? Maybe 8.5%? So everything an Austrian buys will cost 10-15% more in taxes alone. Which devalues his paycheck dollars by a formula that I don’t pretend to understand.Anyway, so the Austrian mom-to-be works from age 20 to age 30, when she has a baby (at a consistent $50K salary for the point of this illustration). That is 120 months of paying an extra $539 in taxes, which is $64,680 paid into the system. If she gets 80% of her salary for a year as Bee mentions, she will get back $40,000 of that in her year of maternity leave. Great deal for her, but as she goes back to work for another 30 years, it is a stupendous amount to pay into the system to get a year or two of paid maternity leave. I’d rather have that $258,720 (40 years at $539/month) in my pocket (actually, in my vacation cottage) than in the government’s! No wonder Europeans live at home until age 30 and can rarely afford to buy a house/flat.I’m just pointing out that the maternity systems in Canada, Austria, or Australia aren’t all rosy breastfeeding in the sunlight, you know?