Maternity, Paternity and Family Leave – What’s the Difference?
In this lesson, I’m going to talk about a few terms. The terms: maternity leave, paternity leave and family leave.
Now, these are all some subjects of debate because some countries have different laws regarding them or some countries have different laws regarding them.
So, in this brief video, I just want to talk about a few of the issues at hand here.
So, first off, we have “maternity leave.” Now, this refers to time that a mother can stay home from work after she has a baby.
In the United States, legally as of right now, I believe companies are required to give the woman one month off work. Meaning that they cannot fire this girl or this woman for missing one month of work, they have to give her that month off, however, it is not paid.
And a lot of people are very against this because they feel that it is not fair to women. And that it might discourage women from having children or give them an unfair advantage, because they have to go one month without their salary.
However, many companies in the U.S. do provide paid maternity leave for their employees. They do this, because they want to attract good workers to their company, not because they are legally obligated by the law. It’s their choice and they decide to do that.
If we look at some countries in Europe, they have laws that are much more beneficial for workers, for women and also for men after having a child. In many European countries after a woman has a baby she can get several months off work or maternity leave and she gets this as paid maternity leave. So, she can leave work for three months, up to six months in some countries, and she gets paid during all that time. So this is a very popular law for these women.
Now the problem is, is that these laws are not necessarily good for companies. And it makes business a little bit more difficult for the companies. Because during those six months, or however long it is, the company has to manage without that woman, or they would have to get a temporary worker to fill in for her, and do some of her work.
Now, “paternity leave.” Paternity leave is much less common than maternity leave and this refers to time that the father gets off work after he has a child.
So, there are some countries that are starting to implement paternity leave. Some of them offer paid paternity leave and others offer unpaid paternity leave.
And now this brings us to our third term, which is family leave. Family leave can refer to time off for the father after he has a child. And it can also refer to taking time off from work to care for, or take care of a family member who is ill or who needs help.
So let’s say for example that your father has a problem, he’s in the hospital, he needs your help. You could take some time off of work to spend with your father to help him. This is meant to improve the quality of life of the employees and the families of the country in general. Offering this flexibility, so that people can help their family when they are in need.
So this topic, in some places, is seen as a given, it’s seen as something that we need as simply a foundation for our law, for our companies to have set in place. And there are other people who believe there should be less laws and government interference in this area.
So, this is a good topic of discussion when you’re practicing your English. You can talk about whether you think we should have paid maternity leave, paternity leave or family leave, if the government should enforce these laws, or if the companies should decide for themselves if they want these laws to attract their employees or not.
So what do you guys think? Should this be something mandatory, or should this be something the free market will dictate what is done?
So feel free to comment below. This is a good topic, as I said for discussion and in our Skype English classes we have some topics similar to this one. It’s a great exercise to help you improve your English and just to be a better communicator.