Better childcare benefits and maternity leave create more jobs
The provision of better childcare services and maternity leave could add 299 million more jobs to the global economy by 2035, highlighted the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in a report.
Looking at national laws, policies and practices on care, including maternity, paternity, parental, child and long-term care, ILO found persistent and significant gaps in care services and policies that left hundreds of millions of workers with family responsibilities without adequate support.
Currently, some three in 10 women of reproductive age, or 649 million women do not have access to adequate maternity protection, which ILO defines as a 14-week minimum maternity leave on at least two-thirds of previous earnings, funded by social insurance or public funds.
Although “paid maternity leave or maternity protection is a universal human and labour right”, 82 of the 185 countries surveyed did not meet these standards. At the current pace of reform, ILO said that it would take at least 46 years to achieve minimum maternity leave rights in the countries surveyed.
The report also highlighted that over 1.2 billion men of prime reproductive age live in countries with no entitlement to paternity leave, and where there is such leave, it remains short — at a global average of nine days.