How long is maternity leave?

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  1. In Canada maternity/paternity leave is one year and can be shared between the parents. I was SHOCKED after moving to the U.S. to discover that it's nowhere near that here.
    Exactly how much time are employers required to give employees for maternity leave?
    I'm also curious to know what it is in other countries too...
  2. I'm not sure if there's a "requirement" that employers have give you X number of weeks/months unless it's under the Family Medical Leave Act. I had my daughter almost 22 years ago, way before FMLA, so any leave I got was because I took sick leave, then leave without pay. I stayed home four months myself.

    I'd be curious to hear some responses on this too, especially in light of FMLA. Of course FMLA only guarantees your job will be waiting for you.
  3. I've heard in the states its 6 weeks but some employers allow more than that. I'm sure the other ladies can confirm.

    I feel very fortunate to be in Canada and have the opportunity to take the whole year and watch our son do so many wonderful things that I would have missed if I'd gone back earlier. I probably would have considered leaving my career for 12 -18 months, if the mat. leave in Canada was shorter.
  4. I am pretty sure it is 6 weeks I guess depending on your employer it could be longer.
  5. ^Is half of that paid??
  6. Businesses are not required to pay you for ML... only for the time you have accumulated for sick/vacation/personal time.

    I work for a mid-size company and we don't get jack!
  7. You can, however, apply for short term disability w/ insurer.
  8. 12 weeks are allowed under FMLA, but it's not paid. In CA, you can apply for state disability to get some income.
  9. Not paid and they do not have to keep your job for you (unless that has changed). You have to use up sick leave, vacation time and any other days off w/pay you have saved up or go with no salary. MAny of the smaller companines do not even qualify for maternity leave. So, you're SOL.
  10. some big companies offers 6weeks paid ML and then you can have another 12weeks unpaid under FMLA, you can apply for disability during the 12weeks to get some income.
  11. Thanks, everybody, for your replies. I don't have children yet -- and I don't know how I'll be able to without family here. <SIGH> The whole parenting thing is scary to me! :s
  12. Now I feel even more fortunate after reading the last few posts. In Canada, you can receive Employment Insurance during mat leave and get 55 % of your earnings or a max of $413 per week. The employer must hold your job until you come back. And depending what company you work for, some top up your salary during your mat. leave. Mine topped up to 100% for the 1st 6 weeks. I went back to work in Nov. and was entitled to 3 weeks vacation plus a floater day (its like a vacation day but some people use it to move, appointments etc).
    My SIL had her salary topped up to 65% of her earnings for the entire ML.
  13. ^^You ARE lucky in Canada! It's amazing how little the US has advanced in terms of family benefits. Maybe I should move back when I'm ready to have kids! :p
  14. If you qualify for FMLA leave (12 weeks as mentioned), which involves a company over 50 employees, having been there more than 12 months, working more than a certain number of hours, etc., they do have to hold your job for you, or an equivalent. That's really the only benefit to it, job protection. They don't have to pay you a cent while you're out, as noted.