Wednesday 8 December 2004


I will not moan about the maternity benefits we receive here ever again. Coming from Canada, you tend to assume that the Americans have it better when it comes to things like benefits and holidays. At the last company I worked for in Montreal, you had a year off for maternity leave, for which you got paid (something like 80% of your pay at first, sliding down to 40-50% over the following months). Here, I get 6 weeks at 90% pay, then 6 months at statutory maternity pay (just over £100/week), then 6 months unpaid. I ranted and raved, and made noise about how unfair that was and how on earth do single mothers/low income families do it?

Then I learned what the Americans get.

On one of the pregnancy boards I read, someone asked about maternity leave in the States. Most women get around 2-4 weeks paid, take some time off using their yearly vacation (which is generally 2-3 weeks) and that's about it. Some got paid a little bit longer, some were not paid but their jobs were held for them for at least a couple of months. A manager at our office in Ft. Lauderdale is due in late March and she is returning to work at the beginning of July.

It's mind-boggling. I'll shut up now and just appreciate what I've got.

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