U.S. work-life balance ranks poorly on Better Life Index

Americans work longer hours, have fewer vacation days and leisure hours, and spend as much or more time cooking, cleaning and caring for family as their international counterparts. Maternity leave in the U.S. is typically unpaid and generally 12 weeks long, which is shorter than average for Index countries, although some states, including California, have laws that provide for partial wages and longer time away from work when a baby is born. In Denmark, the country with the top work-life balance rating, both moms and dads can take up to a year off after a baby is born, and in some circumstances, the entire leave is paid. Nine percent of people in all Index countries said they worked very long hours, but in Denmark, the country with the best work-life balance rating, only 2 percent of workers put in this many hours on the job.

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