The U.S. has been criticised for their lack of Maternity leave for new moms. They currently rate in the bottom 5 out of about 168 countries for financial compensation and time off.
Washington Post columnist Amy Joyce on Sunday examined recent actions by some companies — “mostly large, influential ones” — to “replace informal arrangements to get women back at work after having a child with written policies and systems.” According to Joyce, Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, Ernst and Young, Goldman Sachs and PricewaterhouseCoopers are offering “unusual support and accommodations” to women looking to work after having children. PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte offer women up to five years of unpaid leave without health benefits. PricewaterhouseCoopers pays for training and certifications for women in the program, gives them a mentor and invites them to company events. Deloitte offers women some work while they are on leave, allowing them to “keep their skills sharp and their toes in Deloitte water,” Joyce writes. According to Joyce, most of the programs are small (Joyce, Washington Post, 3/11).
While these small policies are helpful and a little controlling, the real issue is financially compensated extended leaves. The big corporations that made the big profits should start giving back to their employees. Some companies in Canada top up their female employees to 100% of their salaries first the first 5-20 weeks while on Maternity Leave. Now that is a perk!
Someone in the U.S. needs to step us and change the maternity leave policy soon. It is not fair for parents to have to go back to work so soon and put their newborns in daycare so soon after they are born.