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December 10, 1999
Think our FMLA Is Tough --Check out These Countries
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United States pats itself on the back for offering workers 12 weeks of unpaid leave for maternity or family medical leave, but what about the rest of the world? How do we stack up against their leave policies?

According to Harry E. Berndt, a sociologist who writes for the Boston Globe, many countries far surpass the modest policy of the U.S.:

  • Canada: 16-32 weeks (15 of those weeks are paid at 60 percent of wage).
  • Italy: 24 weeks paid at 80 percent of wage for father or mother.
  • Germany: 14-18 weeks paid at 100 percent of wage.
  • Sweden: 52 weeks (39 of those weeks are paid at 90 percent of wage for father or mother).
  • Finland: 39 weeks paid at 80 percent of wage for father or mother.
  • Austria: 20 weeks paid at 100 percent of wage.
  • France: 16 weeks at 80 percent of wage.
  • Norway: 42 weeks paid at 100 percent of wage.

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