Global Parental Leave

Global Parental Leave | Mercer

HR Managers, Compensation and Benefits Managers
Global Parental Leave
Published: September 2018
Global Parental Leave
HR Managers, Compensation and Benefits Managers
Global Parental Leave
Published: September 2018

This report focuses on leave benefits provided to parents around the world. Purchase today for a global look at maternity, paternity, adoption and other family leave policies/benefits.

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What's inside

Ensure your benefits offering is competitive today and as you prepare for tomorrow

Find out whether companies are providing the statutory minimums or going above and beyond to provide additional time off and/or pay to their employees, and gain insight into the support programs offered to help an employee prepare for an extended leave and then transition smoothly when they return from leave.

Types of leave included

  • Maternity leave
  • Paternity leave
  • Parental leave
  • Adoption leave
  • Family caregiver leave

Statutory and market practice in one report

  • Statutory requirements for maternity, paternity, parental and adoption leave
  • Amount of leave time and pay provided in excess of statutory requirements
  • Prevalence of benefits coverage for fertility treatments
  • Childcare assistance options
  • Prevalence of global parental leave policies
  • Support programs offered and assistance provided to employees

76% of companies that provide adoption leave include coverage for same-sex couples in their policy.

Insights for your company
In nations with already generous mandated leave, such as those in Western Europe, many companies simply rely on current laws and have not further expanded their paid-time off benefits. In countries with less prevalent, or even no legal requirement for paid parental leave (such as the United States), many companies have filled the void with additional paid or unpaid leave for mothers to care for newborn children.

How common are global parental leave polices?

Our 2018 survey found that only one-fifth (19%) of responding companies indicated they have implemented a global parental leave policy and an additional 11% are considering implementing one.

How do companies handle leave for parents adopting a child?

Adoption leave is a fairly common benefit with 60% of companies indicating they provide this leave to employees. Employers may provide adoption leave to the primary and/or secondary caregivers of a recently adopted child. This leave may or may not be a statutory required leave, but when it is, eligibility requirements typically define the maximum age of the adopted child. In some countries parental leave may include a provision for adoptive parents in lieu of a specific policy.

How do employers’ attitudes towards supplemental leave vary by geography?

The drivers for supplementing the statutory requirements are generally based on the generosity of those requirements, along with the market demand (and employee expectations) to provide something extra. For example, in the US, companies supplement the statutory requirements by providing a portion of paid leave, but there is no mandate to do so. In Canada, employers receive some financial support from the government while on maternity leave, but many employees expect their employers to “top up” this amount for a portion of the leave.


Global Parental Leave Policies

Find out how common global parental leave policies are, which types of leave are covered in their policies, and which components of the policy are applied globally.

Overview of Benefits for Parents

Information on other parent-related benefits such as fertility treatment, childcare assistance, and gift giving practices.

Maternity Leave

Identifies the markets that supplement statutory requirements, how jobs are covered during an extended leave, and whether policies differ for part-time employees.

Paternity Leave

Find out which markets supplement statutory requirements, whether companies are planning to increase the amount of leave they currently offer, and the percentage of employees who use their paid or unpaid paternity leave.

Parental Leave

Summarizes which employees are included in parental leave programs and whether markets supplement the statutory requirements by providing additional leave or pay.

Adoption Leave

Focuses on benefits for adoptive parents, including whether those benefits are provided to same-sex couples, and leave amounts according to the child’s age at the time of adoption.

Family Caregiver Leave

Outlines the leave benefits available to employees who may need to care for a loved one who has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition.

Statutory Requirements

Details of any statutory requirements on maternity, paternity, or parental leave for 54 countries included in the study.


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