While few people would still argue that childcare is the only consideration when examining employees’ work-life balance, having a baby obviously has a major impact on any individual and their experience of the interface between work and home.
One issue with the life change that parenthood brings is that of maternity leave. This interactive map that I came across this morning really brought home to me two things:
Firstly, national differences really need to be accounted for when examining the impact of childcare on work-life balance. The support a new mother can expect from her employer differs as a function of the country she works in, as well as the culture of the organisation itself.
Secondly, the map itself illustrates that there are still large differences in maternity leave provision and financial support even within the European Union, something I referenced in an earlier post.
As ever, Scandinavia stands out as leaders in this regard, offering both generous and flexible parental leave. In stark contrast with the USA’s 12 weeks of unpaid maternal leave.