Make it so that time off after a baby is born must be divided 50/50 between both parents.
This would end workplace discrimination of women because of maternity leave, and stop men bitching about all the "time off" we get. It would also promote bonding between babies and fathers, encouraging them to take a more hands on role in the early years. All round winner from what I can see.
It would also make breastfeeding harder for a good few women. Until about 10mo DS was still feeding every 2-3 hours on average. I couldn't have gone back to work more than part time, and I know the same is true for many others who are still breastfeeding. I know many people make a perfectly valid decision not to BF or not to BF so long, but the advice is at least a year (DoH) and at least 2years (WHO). Maternity arrangements should promote that and although you can go back to work and still BF, it is harder.
Of course DH would have loved X months off to spend with DS, but we couldn't have lived if his salary was replaced with SMP instead of mine, and I bet the same is true for many women.
Plus, lots of us make a conscious decision to be SAHM, and I'm not sure how many dads would want to do that. My DH is an amazing Dad but our day to day life would drive him crazy.
No, that would be absolutely rubbish for our family. Given that dcs1 and 2 breastfed 6-8+ times a day for 12 months+ and that I had no desire whatsoever to express for the sake of it, forcing me back to work at 6 months would have served what purpose exactly? Dh also had no desire to have 6 months off, though 6 weeks paternity leave would be very welcome.
We are in a country that gives the parents a maximum of 52 weeks for the mother and 37 weeks for the father. They can be taken at the same time or consecutively. The mother's can be divided into two slots of a maximum of 17 weeks and 35 weeks respectively.
I took 17 weeks, my husband was then at home with DD for approx. 30 weeks, then I was home for approx. 20 weeks (can't remember the exact times!). DD did not go to nursey until 1 yr 3 months. I breastfed her until 18 months due to allergies to milk and egg, soya caused hives. I used to express milk at home and at work. A bit of a faff, but like anything once you build up a routine (and a supply of frozen milk!), it gets easier.
This allowed me to not be away from work for a whole year at a stretch but the greater benefit was the time DH-DD spent together. The dynamics really changed.
Having said that, not all men are willing or able to do this as it means a huge loss of income.