Parental Leave And Carers Leave: International Provision And Research

Parental Leave And Carers Leave: International Pro…
01 May 2007

The purpose of this report is to review available international research and information on international provisions of parental leave and carers’ leave arrangements, as well as any proposed changes for the future. The areas of particular interest are:

  • ring-fenced paid parental leave;
  • part-time parental leave-taking;
  • unpaid carers’ leave; and
  • general overview information, including
    • leave provisions (if any) for precarious and casual employees;
    • standard duration of paid and unpaid parental leave overseas:
    • findings from existing research evidence on optimal lengths of parental leave, including consideration of WHO and ILO guidelines;
    • any proposals for future development of provisions;
    • interface with flexible working arrangements; and
    • importance of the policy context.

Most countries for which information has been included in this report offer some form of leave, paid and/or unpaid, to employees to be taken at or around the birth of a child. Comparison of provisions is a complex matter because of the variety of different combinations of arrangements involved.

Two major research reports published in the last two years provide the basic information regarding the leave provisions discussed in this report:

  • the large cross-national study of leave arrangements in 19 countries undertaken as part of the continuation of the work of the former European Commission Childcare Network (Deven and Moss, 2005); and
  • a similar study covering much the same ground (22 countries plus the province of Quebec) undertaken by members of the International Network on Leave Policy and Research, which includes an account of discussions at a seminar of members held in London in November 2005 (Moss and O’Brien, 2006).
Page last modified: 15 Mar 2018