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These 12 countries have the best parental leave policies in the world


The Bucket List Family

Out of the world's 196 countries, the US is one of only four that has no federally mandated policy to give new parents paid time off.

That burden is instead placed on individual states and employers.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have both outlined policies to make child-rearing easier. Clinton has proposed a 12-week leave plan in which each parent would get paid 67% normal wage while their off. Trump has put forward a proposal for six weeks of fully-paid maternity leave.

But some countries really prioritize the well-being of new parents — both straight and same-sex — by granting them more than a year of leave at full pay.

If you're thinking of starting a family, here are the ideal places to call home.

SEE ALSO: 19 companies that offer some of the best parental leave policies in America


Expecting mothers in Finland can start their maternity leave seven weeks before their estimated due date.

After that, the government covers 16 additional weeks of paid leave through a maternity grant, regardless of whether the mother is a student, unemployed, or self-employed. The country also offers eight weeks of paid paternity leave.

After a child turns three, parents can also take partial care leave, in which they split time between home and work. That lasts until the child starts second grade.


New moms in Denmark get a total of 18 weeks of maternity leave: four weeks before the birth and 14 weeks after, all at full pay. During the 14-week period, the father can also take two consecutive weeks off.

From that point on, parents can split 32 additional weeks of leave however they see fit. They can also extend the leave for another 14 weeks if the child or parent gets sick. By law, the government covers 52 weeks of pay, though not always at the full salary. 


New parents in Sweden are entitled to 480 days of leave at 80% of their normal pay. That's on top of the 18 weeks reserved just for mothers, after which the parents can split up the time however they choose. 

Sweden is unique in that dads also get 90 paid paternity days reserved just for them. The idea is to promote bonding between father and child during a time when moms are getting a lot of the attention.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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