Global Parent Pay Index
The Best US States and Countries for Working Parents
Ever wondered how legislation surrounding maternity and paternity leave differs throughout the US and across the world? If help caring for your child factors into your search for your dream job, this report provides you with all the details of the paid family leave programs in the US states where they are active, and where in the world parents are offered the most paid leave when it comes to family care.
Paid Family Leave in the US
Ten states, alongside Washington, D.C., currently have paid family leave programs as of April 2022. Alongside Washington, D.C., the states with active programs include California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington state. Colorado, Maryland, and Oregon have inactive paid family leave programs which are due to go into effect before 2025.
Paid Family Leave Policies in the US
Below is a compiled list of all the relevant information and features of the paid family leave programs in each US state which offers them. Massachusetts offers the longest total paid leave available in one year with 26 weeks, while New Jersey offers the lowest payroll deduction rate of 0.14%. All these states offer a minimum of five weeks of total paid leave available in one year. Only six offer job protection for employees taking time off.
The Best Countries for Paid Parental Leave
By combining the total number of paid leave weeks for both parents with the average payment rate for paid leave for mothers and fathers, the full-rate equivalent pay in weeks has been calculated for the following countries.
Full-rate equivalent pay in weeks is how much full pay parents can expect to receive from organizations in these countries during paid leave (this is often lower than the total number of weeks allowed off as employees are often paid a discounted payment rate). Paid leave includes both maternity/paternity leave and parental and home care leave.
The US, due to not all states having paid leave programs or legislation, was the only country on this list that didn’t offer any paid leave to parents. Canada offers five weeks of paid leave to fathers, however, offers a 0% average pay rate for paternity leave.
Of our list of 43 countries, only eight offered full 100% paid leave for mothers, and six offered full pay for both mothers and fathers.
Across all countries, there is a general trend that mothers get much more paid leave than fathers for parental leave (with a few exceptions).
On average, OECD countries offer paid leave of 60.2 weeks and 8.7 weeks to mothers and fathers respectively, and EU countries offer averages of 70.6 weeks and 7.1 weeks.
Length of Paid Leave for Mothers – 108.7 weeks
Average Payment Rate for Mothers – 85%
Length of Paid Leave for Fathers – 5.3 weeks
Average Payment Rate for Fathers – 87.8%
Full-Rate Equivalent for Both Parents Combined – 97.1 weeks
Romania offers the most full pay equivalent weeks of paid leave with a total of 97.1 weeks offered to Romanian parents. Mothers are offered just over two years of leave at 85% of their pay, while fathers are offered 5.3 weeks of leave at a slightly higher 87.8% of pay. Romania demonstrates a large difference in attitudes towards mothers and fathers when it comes to time off, with fathers being offered over 100 fewer weeks of paid leave than mothers.
Length of Paid Leave for Mothers – 82 weeks
Average Payment Rate for Mothers – 100%
Length of Paid Leave for Fathers – 2 weeks
Average Payment Rate for Fathers – 100%
Full-Rate Equivalent for Both Parents Combined – 84 weeks
Estonia ranks second on our list of countries that offer the most full-rate equivalent paid leave and is the only country in our top five that offers 100% pay for paid leave for both mothers and fathers. Despite this, Estonia continues the disparity between fathers and mothers when it comes to the length of paid leave. Mothers are offered 82 weeks off compared to just two weeks for fathers.
Length of Paid Leave for Mothers – 110.4 weeks
Average Payment Rate for Mothers – 61.1%
Length of Paid Leave for Fathers – 2.1 weeks
Average Payment Rate for Fathers – 90%
Full-Rate Equivalent for Both Parents Combined – 69.4 weeks
In third place is Bulgaria, with a total of 69.4 full-rate equivalent weeks of paid leave. Most of this comes from the mother’s 110.4 weeks of leave paid at 61.1% of their usual pay. Fathers, while being offered a generous 90% of pay for paid leave, are only offered 2.1 weeks to take off for child care and other care responsibilities.
Length of Paid Leave for Mothers – 164 weeks
Average Payment Rate for Mothers – 42.2%
Length of Paid Leave for Fathers – 0 weeks
Average Payment Rate for Fathers – 0%
Full-Rate Equivalent for Both Parents Combined – 69.2 weeks
Despite offering no paid leave for fathers, Slovakia comes in at fourth place on our list for the most full-rate equivalent weeks offered to parents. This is due to the massive 164 weeks of paid leave offered to mothers. Even at an average payment rate of a low 42.2%, this still equates to 69.2 weeks of full pay for mothers opting to take over three years off from work.
Length of Paid Leave for Mothers – 58 weeks
Average Payment Rate for Mothers – 61.6%
Length of Paid Leave for Fathers – 52 weeks
Average Payment Rate for Fathers – 60.3%
Full-Rate Equivalent for Both Parents Combined – 67.2 weeks
Rounding off our top five countries that offer the most full-rate equivalent paid leave is Japan, which is the first country on our list to offer very similar conditions for both mothers and fathers. Mothers are offered 58 weeks at 61.6% of pay whereas fathers are offered 52 weeks at 60.3% of pay. Combined, Japanese parents can expect a total of 67.2 weeks of full-rate equivalent paid leave.
The Best Jobs for Parents
If you’re a new parent or expecting, you may want to consider job roles that allow you to keep working while you take care of your children. There are many jobs that allow great flexibility when it comes to hours and vacations, and many jobs now also offer opportunities for employees to work from home, giving parents the chance to take care of their children while they work. Below are some great examples of job opportunities for parents looking for more childcare-friendly careers.
Median Salary – $100,031
Interested in a career in medicine? A Physician Assistant is ideal for parents who don’t have the time or money to invest in four years of medical school or leave home to study and pays a great median salary. Typical working weeks usually follow long hours for part of the week but more full days off, giving parents more time to spend with their kids.
Median Salary – $63,201
Speech pathologists often work with flexible hours as they can arrange appointments around their own schedules and family responsibilities. Pathologists working in schools will also benefit from school vacations, allowing parents to have lots of time off with their children.
Median Salary – $60,668
Web developers can work for large corporations, government agencies, or startups, but no matter where you work, web development is a great work-from-home career. As a freelance web developer, you would also be able to select projects and create your own schedule.
Median Salary – $57,950
Many tax accountants can work independently from home, providing the flexibility parents need to take care of young children. They can also work more hours during tax season, which can then free up time later in the year to spend with their children.
5.Public Relations Specialist
Median Salary – $51,000
PR specialists also have the flexibility to work from home and choose their own working hours. Many PR specialists work on a contract basis, meaning parents in these roles can decide to take on as many or as few clients as they want around their schedules.
6.Ridesharing or Delivery Driver
Median Salary – $49,469
Delivery drivers are fantastic opportunities for parents to earn money outside of their family commitments. Evenings and weekends are often peak times but drivers can pick and choose where and when they work.
7.Customer Service Representative
Median Salary – $40,406
There are many work-from-home customer service roles out there and these are one of the most common. These jobs allow parents to work from home and thus take care of their children throughout the day and spend more time with their kids due to a lack of a daily commute.
8.Writer / Blogger
Median Salary – $38,442
Writing about your experience in parenthood is a great way to get paid to write. Contribute to parent-focused websites, social media outlets, or other publications with your new knowledge. Or, use your career focus or hobby expertise as your basis for contributing to any blog or website to make money while at home.
Median Salary – $36,650
Are you a parent who has often aided in your child’s homework, such as English or Maths? Do you have good academic qualifications from school? Why not convert those skills to earn an income, and help children learn school subjects from the comfort of your own home.
Median Salary – $21,239
Teacher’s aides enjoy the same long holidays as their children and may even have the opportunity to spend time and help teach their own kids at school. In addition, assistants don’t have to do the tedious after-hours lesson planning that main teachers do.
All data relating to paid leave for mothers and fathers around the world was taken from the OECD. All data for paid family leave policies in the US was taken from the Bipartisan Policy Center. Median pay was taken from Payscale.com.