Maternity Leave Provisions Looking Up for Most OECD Countries!

Categories: Breastfeeding Today

With a membership of 36 countries across the globe, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), based in Paris, aims to collaborate on key global issues at national, regional and local levels, including reporting on maternity benefits in member countries. In OECD countries, mothers are entitled to maternity leave pay that replaces over 50% of their previous earnings.1

In 2018, the OECD Family Database reported that most mothers giving birth in OECD countries are entitled to 18 weeks or more of paid maternity leave! This leave amount is in line with the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention on maternity leave.2

Interestingly, the United States is the only OECD country with no statutory maternity leave provisions. Ireland and the UK provide the lowest payment rates for mothers during their leave time. And in 13 countries mothers are provided with full maternity leave compensation, based on their average earnings!

This article is an excerpt from “IBFAN Position Paper on Maternity Protection at Work”. Used with permission. The full document can be found here:


  1. OECD Family Database.
  2. OECD Family Database. Parental leave systems.