The federal government pays for nearly half of maternity leave in Canada and nearly all other countries, but that isn’t the case in the United States.
The average American woman takes about a week off during the pregnancy and the childbearing season, which ends in August.
But that leaves the average worker on the job less than two weeks off during a typical working week, according to a recent study from researchers at Boston University.
The study found that about 2 million U.S. workers take at least part of their paid leave during a given month, and that the average length of the leave was about a month.
In Canada, maternity leave is a provincial issue, but it can also apply to federal workers.
In 2018, federal workers were able to take two weeks of paid leave per year if they had a child under the age of two, which is a federal requirement.
The federal Liberals passed a bill in January to change that rule, and in 2019, the U.K. will follow suit, with the British Columbia government also considering a similar change.
Many U.B.C. parents have expressed concerns that the change will make it harder for them to get a second child.
While Canada is the only major country that offers paid maternity leave, the government in the U:nitiative has made little progress in the past two years, and the number of Canadian mothers taking maternity leave has decreased.
According to the World Economic Forum, nearly one in five women in the world have never worked, and about 25 percent of women in this country don’t have children.
What can Canada do to make maternity leave a national priority?