The United States is the only country without a nationwide paid parental leave policy while being one of the world’s wealthiest countries. According to Pew Research Center data from 2015, only 21% of US workers have access to paid family leave through their employers, despite the fact that nearly half of all two-parent households have both parents working full-time.

This lack of support is the opposite of Europe, where paid parental leave is often used. Paid parental leave offers pleasant benefits for parents, children, and the societies of nations that give it, according to a study. Paid parental leave has widespread support in the United States, with roughly 82 percent of Americans supporting it, according to research published in April. This figure has stayed very consistent over time, and it includes support from all major political parties. The reasons for the United States’ long-standing position as the country with no parental leave benefits are complex, mixing post-World War II necessities and cultural identity.

However, there is currently a strong demand for change. President Joe Biden of the United States proposed a $225 billion (£163 billion) paid family and medical leave package in April, allowing workers to take up to 12 weeks off to care for a newborn or a family member. In a country where opinions are divided, paid parental leave is a rare topic on which all Americans can agree. So, why hasn’t anything been done at the federal level yet – and could this be the year, with Biden’s idea on its way to Congress?