As I was carrying my child, I was pondering about the entitled maternity leave that was offered in Malaysia. I know for a fact that Singapore provides 4 months of paid maternity leave for mothers and 2 weeks for the new dad. As for Malaysia, it is 60 consecutive days for the new mums. Some companies may be relatively generous, I am referring to the minimum amount of benefits require by the law of that country. Even if you are not a mom or a dad, these are interesting facts that some countries do more to encourage their birth rates and our next generations while other countries talk the talk but do not walk the walk.


In general, European countries tend to be extremely generous with their parental allowance like Sweden which offers 18 weeks of paid maternity leave on top of 480 days of leave at 80% of their normal pay with another 90 days of paternity leave for the fathers, and Iceland gets the parents of 9 months (?!!) parental leave to be split between the two.

However, not much of the articles surrounding on maternity leave is featured on Asia. So to my curiosity, I did a little research and asking around and the below information is what I have consolidated.

We get 4 months or 16 weeks of government-paid maternity leave and 2 weeks of paternity leave for the fathers.

A mere 60 consecutive days for the new mummies.

Mothers get 90 days leave and 45 of the 90 days of that is on full pay, the other 45 days is on the Social Welfare Fund.

The standard is a minimum of 128 days maternity leave (this is 30 days longer than the statutory minimum before the amendment of the once child policy). As for paternity leave, it is subjected from local province to province.

Since May 2013, female workers in Vietnam are entitled to six months of maternity leave. If a woman has more than one child, she is entitled to a further 30 days off for each additional child.


Maternity leave includes 1.5 months before the birth and 1.5 months after the birth, as certified in writing by an obstetrician or midwife.

New mums are entitled to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave while dads may enjoy 15 days of paternity leave after the confinement of their wife.

Women enjoy maternity leave of 90 days while her spouse gets only 1 day.

Recently, they implement a new maternity bill that increases to 26 weeks of paid maternity leave for mothers.


Sri Lanka
4 months of paid maternity leave for female while the husband takes 3 days of paternity.

60 days of paid maternity leave benefit for normal delivery or 78 days of paid maternity leave benefit for cesarean delivery.

Mothers are entitled to a maximum of 12 weeks of fully paid maternity leave.

Hong Kong
10 weeks for the mothers and 3 days for the fathers.

Mothers get only 8 weeks maternity leave while dads get 3 days.


Maternity Leave is designated under Mongolian law as a required period of 120 days.

Mommies are entitled to a period of 105 days or 15 weeks of maternity leave.

Maternity leave for new mothers in Japan covers a period of 6 weeks prior to the expected birth date to 8 weeks after giving birth.

South Korea
Working mothers are entitled to 90 days of maternity leave, of which 60 are fully paid. The other 30 days are paid at a percentage of the mother’s monthly income while fathers are given 5 days.

North Korea
I am quite pleasantly surprised that their maternity leave is 240 days more than South Korea.

How does your country compare to the ones above? Come and share with us right in the comments below.

Join MiddleMe at Twitter (MiddleMe_net), FaceBook ( and WeChat! Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.

25 replies on “Maternity Leave in Asia

  1. Interesting! I think the reason Malaysia only offers a mere 60 days maternity leave as it is offset by our many public holidays. When I had to deal with government officials, they are usually on leave or out for tea breaks. If they get more maternity leave, nothing ever gets done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m embarrassed to say there is no nationwide mandatory paid leave for new mothers (or fathers) in the United States of America. A law passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993 mandates 12 weeks of unpaid leave for new mothers. You have to have worked for the company or government for at least one year. There must be at least 50 employees in the company you work for. With so many restrictions, more than half the citizens don’t qualify. Some states have mandatory paid leave for new mothers, and some cities have adopted such policies; however, aside from those few examples, it is left to every employer to set their own policies. I think 8-12 weeks paid leave is typical here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ouch! Thank you, Janet for sharing what’s going on in the US. I have read about the inadequate maternity leave in your country and I think it is very sad that mothers don’t get the kind of support they need. Being a mother is hard enough without having to fight for what is humanly right for them. Is it so hard just to grant a mother 4 months of maternity leave so that she can recuperate and bond with her child?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree, Kally. I knew the US, from a nationwide standpoint, was behind the rest of the developed world on this; however, I didn’t realize how far behind we were until I read the country-by-country statistics you presented.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Such an interesting read, really enjoyed it! I’m lucky enough to live in the UK getting 52 weeks, with a mandatory 2 weeks after the birth of the child (for the mum). We can also take holiday leave to extend our maternity leave. Paternity leave is still pretty poor, around 3 weeks I think. More should be done to give (and encourage) fathers time off work after the birth of their baby.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree with you that fathers should be given a longer paternity leave. After all, it takes two person to make a baby, a dad should share the responsibilities and sleepless nights too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great article as usual Kally! I would like to share this if you don’t mind. It is a shame the way new parents, women and men are treated in the U.S. Wow, is right! I had my children so long ago that I have forgotten how much time I was allowed, but I know it was based on my tenor.

    Liked by 1 person

Share Your Thoughts Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s