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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Ernestine Ndzi

The legislation on shared parental leave that came into force on 1st of December 2014 is aimed at giving working mothers the opportunity to return to work early if they so…

Abstract

Purpose

The legislation on shared parental leave that came into force on 1st of December 2014 is aimed at giving working mothers the opportunity to return to work early if they so choose after childbirth to continue with their career and also to give fathers the opportunity to be involved in the lives of their new-born. However, past research has demonstrated a very low uptake on shared parental leave. This paper aims to argue that working parents’ awareness on the existence of the legislation is key to its effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study approach was adopted to assess the importance of awareness. A sample of 40 eligible working parents were informally interviewed for 10 min to ascertain whether they know about shared parental leave. Participants were recruited at a primary school fair. The 40 parents were workers in different sectors which included care, hospitality, security, education, finance, retail and construction.

Findings

The findings indicated that awareness may be one key factor as to why the uptake of shared parental leave was low. It was also evident from the results that employers do not inform eligible employees of the existence of shared parental leave or support and encourage them to take shared parental leave. This paper concludes that to assess the effectiveness of shared parental leave, awareness is key.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this article are obtained from a limited time interview data. This paper is a basis for a bigger research project particularly on the reasons why mothers may or may not want to share their maternity leave.

Originality/value

Existing research has surveyed some employers and their employees and concluded uptake statistics based on their data. This study demonstrates that more awareness is required which has not been done yet. This research is part of an ongoing project investigating the reasons why mothers may or may not want to share their maternity leave, given that the legislation made mothers “gatekeepers” to the effectiveness of shared parental leave.

Details

International Journal of Law and Management, vol. 59 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-243X

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Article
Publication date: 11 December 2019

Elin Kvande and Berit Brandth

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the Norwegian parental leave policy for fathers, the father’s quota, which has reached a mature age of 26 years, asking how gender…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the Norwegian parental leave policy for fathers, the father’s quota, which has reached a mature age of 26 years, asking how gender equality has been affected in working life.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on interviews with 28 fathers who have used the father’s quota, the paper analyzes the connection between leave design, its use and impacts by using the design elements of individualization, generosity and non-transferability.

Findings

Findings show that in granting fathers an individual, earmarked and non-transferable right, the welfare state has contributed to turning leave taking into a norm for modern fathering. The generosity in terms of length and full wage compensation strengthens it as a right in working life. Fathers being paid their full wages for staying at home taking care of their child emphasize the dual-carer norm. The analyses show that the collision between fatherhood and the ideal of the unencumbered employee has weakened in many types of organizations.

Originality/value

The paper addresses the request put forward by Lewis and Stumbitz (2017) and Moss and Deven (2015) where they state that there has been little research addressing how parental leave is implemented in working life.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 40 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 January 2020

Ann-Zofie Duvander and Ida Viklund

Parental leave in Sweden can be taken both as paid and unpaid leave and often parents mix these forms in a very flexible way. Therefore, multiple methodological issues…

Abstract

Purpose

Parental leave in Sweden can be taken both as paid and unpaid leave and often parents mix these forms in a very flexible way. Therefore, multiple methodological issues arise regarding how to most accurately measure leave length. The purpose of this paper is to review the somewhat complex legislation and the possible ways of using parental leave before presenting a successful attempt of a more precise way of measuring leave lengths, including paid and unpaid days, for mothers and fathers.

Design/methodology/approach

The study makes use of administrative data for a complete cohort of parents of first born children in 2009 in Sweden. The authors examine what characteristics are associated with the use of paid and unpaid leave for mothers and fathers during the first two years of the child’s life, focusing particularly on how individual and household income is associated with leave patterns.

Findings

Among mothers, low income is associated with many paid leave days whereas middle income is associated with most unpaid days. High income mothers use a shorter leave. Among fathers it is the both ends with high and low household income that uses most paid and unpaid leave.

Practical implications

A measure that includes unpaid parental leave will be important to not underestimate the parental leave and to prevent faulty comparisons between groups by gender and by socioeconomic status.

Originality/value

A measure of parental leave including both paid and unpaid leave will also facilitate international comparisons of leave length.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 40 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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Abstract

In this paper, we update and extend “Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?” (Albrecht, Björklund, & Vroman, 2003) by documenting the extent to which the gender log wage gap across the distribution in Sweden has changed over the period 1998–2008. We then examine the Swedish glass ceiling in 2008 in more detail by documenting how it differs for white-collar versus blue-collar workers and for private- versus public-sector workers. We also examine when in the life cycle the glass ceiling effect arises and how this effect develops around the birth of the first child. Finally, we investigate the possible connection between the glass ceiling and the parental leave system in Sweden by linking wage data with data on parental leave from different Swedish registers.

Details

Gender Convergence in the Labor Market
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-456-6

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2010

Diane‐Gabrielle Tremblay and Emilie Genin

Paid parental leave for both mothers and fathers has fed countless debates. Four years after the implementation of a new parental leave policy in Quebec, this paper aims…

Abstract

Purpose

Paid parental leave for both mothers and fathers has fed countless debates. Four years after the implementation of a new parental leave policy in Quebec, this paper aims to assess how parental leave is perceived in the workplace.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data from employee surveys carried out in a municipal police service, the paper employs analysis of variance techniques to compare the perception of parental leave within two groups of respondents: those who had gone on parental leave and those who had not.

Findings

The findings highlight significant differences between the perceptions of parental leave entertained by the respondents who have taken it up and those who have not yet experienced parental leave.

Social implications

Analysing these differences has produced extremely interesting findings: adopting a public policy is not sufficient; organisations need to make employees feel supported in taking parental leave if they really want the policy to achieve the targeted results.

Originality/value

Paid parental leave is relatively new in Europe and almost non‐existent in North America and few studies have been carried out to measure their perception in the workplace. This research shows how important it is to follow the use of the policy to make sure that it does not have negative impacts for those who use it.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 30 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2019

Peter Moss and Fred Deven

The purpose of this paper is to review the development of leave policies in Europe, both at a regional and national level, and to consider what future directions such…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the development of leave policies in Europe, both at a regional and national level, and to consider what future directions such policies might take to meet changing conditions and emerging needs.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the work of an international network that the authors founded in 2004, which brings together experts on leave policy from over 40 countries, and in particular on an annual review of national leave policies conducted by network members.

Findings

The article presents developments in European legislation on leave policy stretching from 1883 to the present day, and outlines the extent of leave policies in European countries and the wide variations in the design of these policies. It suggests that future directions in leave policy need to address the relationship between this and other policy areas; the need for a life course perspective to leave policy, getting beyond parental leave; and that leave should turn away from being considered an employment benefit towards becoming a universal right to care.

Originality/value

The paper provides a concise overview of leave policy in the global region where leave policies began and are today most developed, at both a regional and national level. It is also intended to stimulate debate about the future directions that leave policy might take.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 40 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 1 June 2018

Olga Nešporová and Kristýna Janurová

The chapter draws on recent scientific findings on the participation of fathers in childcare, and the perception of the role of fathers by both men and women in the Czech…

Abstract

The chapter draws on recent scientific findings on the participation of fathers in childcare, and the perception of the role of fathers by both men and women in the Czech Republic. We apply a mixed method approach, combining qualitative data from longitudinal research on transition to motherhood and fatherhood (TransPARENT), which traced 16 parental couples for four years, with data from quantitative surveys on the topics of parenting and work–life balance. The data are examined for the incidence of breadwinner and the involved father models in Czech families. We focus on the earliest stage of the family life course, that is, when the children are aged between zero and four years. We show that fathers of young children still predominantly assume the breadwinner role, leaving most childcare to mothers. However, the growing number of parents expressing a preference for a more equal sharing of childcare indicates a shift in both the perception of fatherhood and the value placed on the active participation of fathers in early childcare in the Czech Republic. The main limitation of this text is that it only focuses on families with very young children. The future research should fill the gaps in contemporary knowledge of Czech families by addressing the division of roles, and particularly the roles of fathers, in households with school-age children. The chapter suggests that fathers’ greater involvement in childcare could be stimulated by policy measures such as the introduction of paternal leave or broadening the range of (public) childcare services for the youngest children.

Details

Fathers, Childcare and Work: Cultures, Practices and Policies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-042-6

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Book part
Publication date: 1 June 2018

Gerlinde Mauerer

Realizing gender equality and parenthood still seems to be a contradictory endeavour. In consequence, family policies in Europe focus on paternal involvement and…

Abstract

Realizing gender equality and parenthood still seems to be a contradictory endeavour. In consequence, family policies in Europe focus on paternal involvement and increasing women’s participation in the labour market. Nevertheless, consequences of gender pay gap on family arrangements still set limits to these policies.

This chapter reveals results of qualitative research on paternal leave practices and fathers’ involvement in the family in Austria. The empirical data set includes 36 guided interviews with fathers on paternal leave, 12 with female partners, 16 with human resources managers and 14 follow-up questionings with part-time working men and women. The research investigates effects of long-term leave arrangements on the distribution of family work, gainful employment and individual interests.

Mainly best practice models in undoing gender in family and work arrangements are explored. Subsequently, a high proportion of good earning fathers and couples with tertiary education are represented in the sample. Nevertheless, quantitative studies in Austria confirm higher proportions of fathers aged 40 plus on paternal leave. They take this decision mainly as a ‘tribute to the family’, once or twice in a life-time.

However, long-term care data on work-family-life balancing currently do not show significant changes in gendered patterns. By contrast, gender disparities are still reproduced in the labour market. Theoretically, the chapter shows the impact of gender studies, feminist theories and sociology of the family on realizing gender equality in private and public spheres. It outlines recommendations for family policy makers and for readers interested in relations between realizing work–life balance and gender budgeting.

Details

Fathers, Childcare and Work: Cultures, Practices and Policies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-042-6

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 June 2010

Ghazala Naz

Fathers' participation in childcare is not only important in promoting gender equality but can be also important for the child's better upbringing. To promote fathers'…

Abstract

Purpose

Fathers' participation in childcare is not only important in promoting gender equality but can be also important for the child's better upbringing. To promote fathers' involvement and participation in childcare, in the 1990s Norway and other Scandinavian countries have evolved their parental leave schemes such that employed fathers may have equal access to paid parental leave as mothers. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the factors that determine use of parental leave in Norway.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper's dependent variable is ordinal. An individual has three options: do not take leave, use leave up to the paternity quota or use leave in excess of the paternity quota. For modelling the choice between these three categories, an ordered logit model is used.

Findings

Fathers' workplace type has no effect on their use of paternity quota, but they opt to take gender‐neutral leave if they are working in female‐dominated professions. In addition the effects of mothers' relative income, education, working time and number of pre‐school children are more important for the use of gender‐neutral leave by fathers as compared with leave up to the paternity quota.

Originality/value

Several studies in Scandinavia have investigated the determinants of use of paternal leave but this paper differs from the existing literature in the following respects. First, it differentiates the determinants of taking paternity quota and gender‐neutral leave and it focuses sharply on the difference between husbands' and wives' characteristics. In addition, it uses a large dataset that includes information from several public registers, merged by Statistics Norway. In contrast, the previous studies in Norway were based on relatively small samples and self‐reported data.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 30 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 13 January 2021

Kehinde Olowookere

At the end of this chapter, learners should be able to:

  • Discuss the origin of family-friendly policies.
  • Explain the different types of family-friendly policies.
  • Explain the…

Abstract

Learning Objectives

At the end of this chapter, learners should be able to:

  • Discuss the origin of family-friendly policies.

  • Explain the different types of family-friendly policies.

  • Explain the importance of family-friendly policies.

  • Explore the financial implications of family-friendly policies.

  • Understand how to calculate leave payment.

  • Explain possible limitations of family-friendly policies.

Discuss the origin of family-friendly policies.

Explain the different types of family-friendly policies.

Explain the importance of family-friendly policies.

Explore the financial implications of family-friendly policies.

Understand how to calculate leave payment.

Explain possible limitations of family-friendly policies.

Details

Financial and Managerial Aspects in Human Resource Management: A Practical Guide
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-612-9

Keywords

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