- (As mentioned in my last post) There are only three countries on earth that do not provide guarantees for paid maternity leave: Papua New Guinea & Swaziland & The UNITED FREAKING STATES OF AMERICA.
- FMLA guarantees 12 weeks of UNPAID leave but only for companies with over 50 employees.
- In 2011, Only 11% of private sector workers (and 17% of public sector workers) reported having access to paid family leave through their employer.
We’ve got to do better…..
This may be something you don’t think too much about. But, when it affects you and your family, I guarantee you’ll think about it. You’ll think about it a lot. You’ll think about it for nine months as you squirrel away as much as you can into savings. You’ll think about it when you crunch the numbers. If you’re a guy, you’ll think about it when you have to go back to work immediately. You might get a couple days, but probably not more than that. You may be sitting there thinking you won’t have to worry about it. If you ever plan to have kids and unless you have a well-padded savings account or alternate source of income, you’re probably wrong.
You’d be surprised how many people were incredulous when I told them I wasn’t receiving any paid maternity leave. “How is that possible?” It’s very possible. It’s 89% possible. Of course, I had the option of unpaid leave—as long as I needed—but short of dipping into our savings (which we did), foregoing my income for an extended period of time wasn’t something I felt comfortable doing. I began working a few hours a day about 3 weeks after having Isobel. I was working full-time between 5-6 weeks. I have friends who took only 2 weeks. I talked to someone who took 4 weeks, and that’s only because she had a c-section. (“I cried when I had a c-section because I knew it meant I’d miss an extra paycheck.”) There are women who take mere days before they’re back at work.
That’s not okay. IT’S NOT OKAY.