2016 Global Parental Leave Report


This report is a by-country study on maternity, paternity, adoption and other family leave, and related return to work and support arrangements. With over 1,500 companies providing data for their operations, the results will help you evaluate paid time-off practices for parents in nearly 50 key countries around the world. Ensure you have the most up-to-date information on how companies are addressing this globally hot topic.

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This HR research report helps human resources professionals by providing a quick reference guide for fast, informed decision making.

Mercer conducted a global survey March and April 2016 to find out what specific leave policies companies offered, whether they offered one or many policies across regions or markets, what forms of support they offered employees and managers, and other specific aspects and terms of their program. This was in response to numerous requests by our clients for help in understanding the competition landscape and benchmarks around the topic of parental leave and al its nuances. For example, were they outspending their rivals by offering maternal leave more generous than that required by law? Were they alone in investigating leave for fathers or same-gender parents? Were they going too far or not far enough in offering certain benefits?

Both the key findings and detailed country report pages within this publication can provide companies with valuable insight into one of the most rapidly changing areas of employee benefits. The data can help companies gauge market standards for parental leave above that offered by statutes and help advance internal conversations about the cost-benefits of certain benefits, pay, and work environment that can lead to more engaged workers. For example, no company wants to discover the hard way that its leave policy has contributed to talent loss due to a program that goes no further than local statutes, especially when its biggest competitor is attracting its former employees with more generous or targeted policies.

Mercer Global Parental Leave Report is organized into three main sections:

  1. Summary of key findings
    –  The global summary provides an overview of findings from all participating companies. It compares trends and highlights across regions and industries.
    –  The Americas regional summary compares results across the countries.
  2. Country results
    – Each country includes information on statutory requirements for maternity, paternity and parental leave; general policy information; as well as details on maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, miscarriage leave, and family care leave.
  3. About this report
    –  Methodology includes information on the sources used to compile this report, along with details on the data calculations and assumptions.
    –  The glossary provides definitions for some of the terms used throughout this report.

More and more organizations are expanding their parental leave policies to accommodate the needs of their workforce. As a result, they are considering “non-traditional” types of leave that include parental leave for part-time employees; support programs for parents, employees, and managers; time off, separate from sick leave, to recover from miscarriage; and time away to care for family members.

Family care leave is time off (paid or unpaid) for employees to care for their loved ones, including children, spouses, parents, parents-in-law, or siblings. According to Mercer’s 2016 Global Parental Leave report, two-thirds (67%) of companies worldwide provide family care leave to their employees. The length of leave is typically a few days fully paid, although some countries allow for an extended period of unpaid leave.

“More progressive companies are acknowledging that eldercare is as important as childcare, especially as the population ages and more working couples need to devote time to elderly family members,” said Ilya Bonic, Senior Partner and President of Mercer’s Talent business. “Moreover, they understand that giving women more responsibilities in the workplace is only part of the resolve to bring about gender equality. Initiatives like paternity and family care leave not only give both genders the ability to care for children and parents, but are also valuable tools for attracting and retaining talent.”

More Product Details

Comprehensive Data

The Mercer Global Parental Leave Report offers an in-depth collection of data and global information.


50 countries.


  • Americas.
  • Asia Pacific.
  • Eastern Europe.
  • Middle East.
  • Africa.


Data Included

  • Prevalence of policies
  • Number of fully paid, partially paid, and unpaid leave days
  • Rate of pay for partially paid days
  • Employee eligibility

 Topics Covered

  • Statutory requirements
  • General policy information
  • Maternity leave
  • Paternity leave
  • Adoption leave
  • Miscarriage leave
  • Family care leave

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Paternity leave is not a statutory requirement in many countries, but it is common for companies to provide two to five days of paid paternal leave at the time of birth. Through its Global Parental Leave Report, Mercer has conducted extensive research into maternity, paternity, adoption and other family leave. 

Is your parental leave plan in line with your market?
This year 30% of companies surveyed plan to increase paternity leave benefits, see the details.  LEARN MORE

Who are are the top 10 countries providing paternity leave? 

Several the top 10  countries do not require companies to provide paid paternity leave, but many firms do so anyway. Do you live in one of these 10 countries? Unites States, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, India, Hong Kong, Argentina, Singapore, Japan, Ireland. READ MORE

What are the attitudes of supplemental leave by country?
Criteria for leave eligibility vary by policy type, country and company. On the whole, the view of family and gender roles is more progressive when defining eligibility for paternity leave. 41% of companies provide part-time employees the same supplementary maternity benefits as their full-time employees. FIND OUT MORE STATS HERE