Planning for Parental LeaveExploring Maternity and Paternity Leave

Trader Joe's - Ashburn, VA 4.1

We answer questions, offer suggestions and ensure our customers know they are welcomed and cared for. You're not stuck doing one task here.

$13 - $18 an hour

Gridiron IT - Ashburn, VA 4.0

All calls will be coming in from US Citizens requesting support with establishing IA accounts,. Do you currently hold an Active Security Clearance?

$19 - $21 an hour

Ashburn Psychological & Psychiatric Services - Ashburn, VA 

Extremely busy mental health practice in need of motivated, efficient individual with pleasant, professional manner and good judgment to work at the front desk.

$22 an hour

Legacy Elementary School - Ashburn, VA 4.0

Oversees the conduct, seating, and needs of students as they are seated in the lunch room in order to maintain an orderly lunchroom atmosphere by encouraging…

$17 an hour

Loudoun Medical Group - Leesburg, VA 3.0

Assisting at the front desk. This is a great opportunity to work for a thriving multi-specialty healthcare organization that employs over 300 medical providers…

$16 - $19 an hour

ALDI - Ashburn, VA 3.4

Meets any state and local requirements for handling and selling alcoholic beverages. Whether it's in customer service or our exceptional products, we owe our…

$15 an hour

ALDI - Leesburg, VA 3.4

Whether it's in customer service or our exceptional products, we owe our success to the efficiencies we create in every corner of our company and the people at…

$15 an hour

Barnes & Noble - Ashburn, VA 3.8

Greet and establish rapport with customers, proactively engaging them in conversations about our products, services and promotions to determine their needs and…

Broad Run High School - Ashburn, VA 4.0

Employees type correspondence, process various reports and information, greet visitors, answer telephone inquiries, and maintain files and records.

Estimated: $27,000 - $36,000 a year

Hobby Lobby - Leesburg, VA 3.7

Previous experience in the craft or hobby field is preferred, but not necessary. Hobby Lobby is a world worth exploring - where dedication and achievement are…

$11 - $17 an hour

Sizewise - Chantilly, VA 3.3

A valid driver's license with a clean driving record; Requirements include either a current DOT or ability to obtain a DOT certification;

$17 an hour

Costa Dentistry - Ashburn, VA 

Answering and routing phone calls. Modern, state of the art dental office located in Ashburn, VA is seeking a patient care coordinator with potential for growth…

$15 - $24 an hour

ALDI - Sterling, VA 3.4

Meets any state and local requirements for handling and selling alcoholic beverages. Whether it's in customer service or our exceptional products, we owe our…

$15 an hour

Ashburn Elementary School - Ashburn, VA 4.0

The PALS tutor works with students in grades K-3 in small groups of students of five or less, who have been identified as needing additional support in early…

$28 an hour

Cardinal Plumbing Heating & Air Inc. - Sterling, VA 

Whether it’s our team or our customers, we are here to help and elevate those who work with us. A good job for someone just entering the workforce or returning…

$15 - $18 an hour

Planning for Parental LeaveExploring Maternity and Paternity Leave

Across the U.S., nearly half of parents in two-parent households both work full-time jobs, and for 2 in 5 families, mothers are the sole or primary breadwinners. While it might be necessary for both mothers and fathers to work, the U.S. is the only country out of 41 nations failing to mandate paid parental leave.

In Estonia, parents get a year and a half of paid leave to bond with their children, and other countries like Japan, Austria, Norway, and Bulgaria offer over a year’s worth of paid parental leave. In 31 countries, fathers also receive paid paternity leave to ensure both parents have time to connect and care for newborn children.

Without nationally mandated paid leave, how much time do new American parents really receive after childbirth and how much of that time is paid? To find out, we surveyed 1,000 current and prospective parents about their paid maternity and paternity leave policies, whether they’d take the entire time off, and how they would respond if their employers didn’t offer any parental leave. Read on as we take a closer look at parental leave in America.

Parental Leave Across Industries

Despite the U.S. not offering mandated paid parental leave to new parents, men and women working in government and public administration received the greatest number of days dedicated to paid parental leave. Men and women in this industry got an average of 30 and 40 days of paid parental leave, respectively.

For women, the next best industries for paid maternity leave were wholesale and retail (30 days), arts, entertainment, and recreation, and finance and insurance (28 days each). While women often struggle to receive an appropriate amount of paid maternity leave, new fathers often have it even worse. On average, men working in finance and insurance (28 days), medical and health care, and wholesale and retail (21 days each) got the most paid paternity leave days, while those working in information services and data processing had the smallest amount of paid leave time (11 days).

When Time Off Isn’t Enough

Quality maternity and paternity leave policies can be critically important for new parents. Studies have shown that women who take at least 12 weeks off after childbirth have fewer depressive symptoms. In fact, women given paid time off are 18 percent less likely to have depression 30 years later.

Putting health, wellness, and family time aside, experts agree that maternity leave is especially good for the economy (as it helps to reduce turnover and unemployment) and lower-income workers. According to our study, however, only 47 percent of women and 64 percent of men said their job’s leave policy offered a sufficient amount of time off.

In some cases, men were more likely to have positive feelings regarding their jobs’ parental leave policies. While 43 percent of women said their employers offered flexible work schedules after they got back from leave, 50 percent of men said the same. However, men were slightly more likely to feel pressure to work when on paternity leave.

Quality maternity or paternity leave programs can also impact how employees feel toward their jobs.

Roughly 3 in 4 men and women with paid parental leave were satisfied with their current jobs, compared to 54 percent of women and 70 percent of men with unpaid parental leave.

Compared to 63 percent of women and 72 percent of men who were satisfied with the paid leave offered by their companies, only 25 percent of women and 37 percent of men afforded unpaid parental leave had the same perspective.

American vs. Worldwide Parental Leave

If you’ve never needed to take parental leave, or your company offers a particularly generous leave program, you might not realize just how bad some new mothers and fathers in America have it compared to working parents in other countries.

This graph shows just how low the U.S. ranks compared to other OCED countries when it comes to paid parental leave. While women in the U.K. are offered a year of paid parental leave, American women receive 27 days on average. For men, Japan and South Korea also offer a year of paid paternity leave, compared to less than 26 days in America.

Income and Paid Parental Leave

Even within the same companies, new parents receive dramatically unequal paid parental leave. At places like Walmart and AT&T, lower-income workers are typically afforded worse parental leave policies than employees in higher-paying or corporate positions.

Men and women earning less than $100,000 a year were typically offered far fewer days of paid leave than those earning more. For new parents earning less than six figures, the average paid leave was between 15 and 17 days compared to 25 and 30 days for those earning $100,000 or more. Additionally, regardless of whether they have paid or unpaid leave, many new parents won’t take all the time offered, and some won’t use it at all.

Compared to more than half of women earning $100,000 or more, 40 percent of women earning less than $100,000 said they wouldn’t take any of their maternity leave. Whether from fear of being skipped for a promotion or falling behind at work, women earning less money may spend less time at home after childbirth.

When No Leave Is Offered

It’s an unfortunate reality that paid maternity leave in the U.S. is often considered an “elite” benefit, making it even more important to look at industries that don’t offer new parents any time off. For example, many teachers often have to hoard sick days and personal time off to stay home after childbirth.

At least 1 in 5 people working in hotel, food services, and hospitality; legal; construction; and transportation and warehousing don’t have any parental leave policies. For 27 percent of new mothers, that may mean quitting their job as soon as their children are born. Another 23 percent of mothers will have to leave their children in the care of relatives, and more than 1 in 3 will take no formal leave and go back to work as soon as their children are born. Many doctors agree that it takes months for the female body to recover after childbirth, even though the mother may feel ready to go six to eight weeks after their baby is born. Pushing the body to do too much too soon can result in both physical and emotional issues.

Planning Ahead

Having a baby is supposed to be one of the happiest and most exciting times in a person’s life. While the most pressing concerns for some people might be about decorating their nurseries or picking out baby clothes, others may fear what will happen if they take time off after childbirth. For many new parents, their jobs may offer little or no paid time off. And even if parental leave is offered, mothers and fathers may be afraid to take all of the time they’re allotted.

At Simply Hired, we know there’s more to finding the perfect career than a title or salary – like quality paid parental leave. Let us help you find the best job listing in your industry. With our search engine, you can instantly connect with hundreds of job boards and thousands of job postings. Sort by salary, location, and compare offers and benefits to find the right match for you. Don’t settle for less than you deserve. Visit to discover your dream job.


This study looked at 1,195 American adults between 18 and 65 years old, of which 517 women and 484 men were current or prospective parents and met the qualifications for the survey. To be included in this study, participants needed to either be employed by a company (not self-employed), a student, or a member of the military. They also needed to either have had children in the last five years or be planning to have children in the next five years. The average age of participants was 34.6 years old.

Participants reported policies offering between zero and 180 days of paid parental leave and zero to unlimited days of unpaid parental leave. The survey was constructed on SurveyMonkey and collected via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Our data were based on self-reporting, which means they are inherently limited by issues commonly associated with self-reporting metrics, such as exaggeration, telescoping, and other aspects of subjectivity.


Fair Use Statement

Want to help spread the word about parental leave in your industry? We’d love to see the results of our study published on your site for any noncommercial use. Just include a link back to this page so that your readers can see our findings in their entirety and our contributors get credit for their work too.