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US Benefits Compared to Other Countries

Holly Hicks,

US Benefits Compared to Other Countries

It has been said several times, for decades, that America is one of the best nations to live in; but is it the best nation to work? It has been proven that American employers supply sufficiently less benefits to their employees than in other developed countries. Where do we stand as a nation in comparison to other countries? The truth may be surprising. The facts may be hard to believe, but we have done a little research to back this up.

When it pertains to policies that sustain employees and their households, the United States is near the bottom of a lengthy worldwide list. According to an article at , An eight-year research study by analysts at McGill University and Harvard University in Canada reveals that the United States drags further behind the majority of financially competitive countries in providing family-friendly conveniences/benefits such as sick-days, paid maternity leave, caregiver time off, and various other employee benefits.

In this study, it was discovered that of the entire world’s 15 most competitive nations:

  • 14 supply paid sick leave
  • 13 ensure paid leave for new moms,
  • 12 give paid leave for new dads,
  • 11 offer paid leave to take care of their children’s health and wellness demands,
  • 8 supply paid leave to look after adult household members, and
  • 7 ensure nursing breaks to breastfeeding mothers at work

The United States, however, provides its employees none of these mentioned benefits. The research findings are outlined in a publication, “Raising the Global Floor: Dismantling the Myth that We Can’t Afford Good Working Conditions for Everyone,” which analyzes policies, securities and supports in 190 of the 192 United Nations. This article was published and by Stanford University Press and composed by Jody Heymann and Alison Earle, who are founders of the department at Stanford. Heyman and Earle outlined the following findings, as noted in the article:

  • 163 countries ensure paid sick leave.
  • 164 countries ensure paid leave annually.
  • 177 countries ensure paid leave for postpartum mothers.
  • 74 countries ensure paid leave for new fathers.
  • 48 countries ensure paid leave to take care of health and wellness needs of their children.
  • 157 countries ensure employees a day of rest each week.

Heyman states within the article, “The world’s most successful and competitive nations are providing the supports the United States lacks, without harming their competitiveness. Globally, we found that none of these working conditions are linked with lower levels of economic competitiveness or employment. There simply is no negative relationship at all between decent working conditions and competitiveness or job creation. In fact, we found that a number of these guarantees are associated with increased competitiveness.”  Heyman also notes that It has been discovered that a variety of these guarantees are linked to improved competition.

Debra Ness, who is the President of the National Partnership for Women & Families stated that this study was “groundbreaking” and should bring a call to action to our nation’s employers to instill improved benefits for their workers, rather than focus completely on competitiveness. With that being said, will our nation’s employers open their eyes to see the position that they are placing their workers in, all in the name of the almighty dollar and a competitive economy? The American dream is achievable, but soon, will the so-called “American dream” be replaced with dream of another nation? These revelations may leave one surprised, but what can be done about it? Will knowing this information inspire any action; or is this the tone of the American business economy altogether?

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