In South Africa, new mothers are allowed to take just four months off to tend to their newborn. Compare that to countries like Canada, the UK, Japan and most Nordic countries, where mothers are given a year or more off after their baby arrives.
Some companies may wince at the thought of giving mothers such a long period off, but when viewed in the long term, it’s an excellent way of fostering employee loyalty when they do eventually return to work.
Many countries that give long maternity leave periods also offer partial payment of differing levels: in Sweden, 480 days of maternity leave is given for 80 percent of your normal pay, while in Hungary, you can get around three years of paid time off (but for less than half your full-time salary).
Dads play a vital role, too
In Sweden, in addition to normal maternity leave, dads are entitled to up to 90 days of paternity leave. Besides helping to improve the parenting bond between Swedish fathers and their babies, this also enables an easier transition for the mother to return to work once her maternity leave is over.