Capabilities approach[ edit ] Jeremiah Carter and Martha Nussbaum have developed a political model known as the Capabilities approach , where basic freedoms and opportunities are included in economic assessments of a country's well-being, in addition to GDP.
In Nussbaum 's model, states should provide the resources and freedoms to ensure people have the opportunity to achieve a minimum threshold of each central capability. Universal, paid parental leave is an example resource states can provide so people have the option of starting a family while also working; for instance, under capacity 10 control of one's environment , the state has a responsibility to ensure all people have "the right to seek employment on an equal basis with others.
Iceland and Norway have established equal 3 month quotas for the father. In Sweden 90 days cannot be transferred from one parent to the other—i. It is thus argued that paid parental leave, in contrast to unpaid parental leave, is harmful to children's welfare because in countries with an aging workforce or countries with Sub-replacement fertility , children are born not because the parents want the child and can meet the child's needs but because children are expected to support their parents.
Some see children as responsible for supporting all those in older generations in the society not just the child's specific parents ; their earnings are expected not to be saved for the children's own old age, but to be spent on the earlier generations' demand for social security and pensions for which there was inadequate savings. While gender discrimination is illegal, without some kind of remedy, the neoclassical model would predict "statistical discrimination" against hiring women of child-bearing years.
The study found that while in the "family-friendly" sector, there was basically no wage loss related to taking parental leave, women did have consistent earnings loss in the "non-family-friendly" private sector for a 1-year leave.
Concerns about private funding include the statistical discrimination described above as well as the costs to smaller businesses. The process enables fathers to rationalize their parenting style and align this with what characterizes good care.
Some, however, consider that the allegedly positive effects of male parental leave are not supported by research, and warn that it might have negative effects. Norwegian psychology professor Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair believes the father's quota is indefensible from a psychological point of view, and argues that "we must at the very least ask ourselves what the consequences will be when we make a childhood environment that differs from what our species has evolved into.
Whereas middle class fathers consider themselves as suitable alternative to the mother having the same competencies, working class men see themselves more as supporters during their leave.
In consequence middle class fathers mostly use their leave right after the mother returns to work, meanwhile working class fathers do their leave during the mother's leave.
Leave legislation can also impact fertility rates. Some studies show that if a parent is gone for more than a year after the birth of a child, it decreases the possibility that he or she will return.
As a result, some studies show that the FMLA has had a limited impact on how much leave new parents take. Although this legislation thus appears to have minimal effect on women choosing to take leave, it does appear to increase the time women take in leave. The main potential drawback of mandated leave is its potential to disrupt productive activities by raising rates of employee absenteeism.
With mandated leave for a certain period of time and facing prolonged absence of the mothers in the workplace, firms will be faced with two options: Alternatively, these policies could be positive for employers who previously did not offer leave because they were worried about attracting employees who were disproportionately likely to use maternity leave.
Thus, there is potential for these policies to correct market failures. In countries with a high demand for labor, including many present-day countries with aging populations, a smaller labor supply is unfavorable. Policies guaranteeing paid-leave are considered by some to be dramatically more effective than unpaid-leave policies.
Longer gaps are associated with reduced lifetime earnings and lower pension disbursements as well as worsened career prospects and reduced earnings. Due to these drawbacks, some countries, notably Norway, have expanded family policy initiatives to increase the father's quota and expand childcare in an effort to work towards greater gender equality.
Among the earliest countries to actively push for increased usage of paternity leave are the Nordic welfare states, starting with Sweden making paternal leave gender neutral in and soon followed by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Finland. These countries lack a unified concept of paternity leave, each imposing different conditions, ratios and timescales, but are regarded as among the most generous in the world.
Partly in an initiative to combat the " Motherhood penalty ," Norway in initiated a policy change to incentivize paternal leave , the so-called " father's quota ", and Sweden followed suit in This means a certain number of parental leave-days can only be used by the father, and are otherwise lost.
In countries in which leave entitlements include a father's quota there has been a pronounced impact, with the quota being credited for increasing paternal involvement and challenging gender roles within the family, promoting a more equal division of labor. But it can be understood to have an effect on division of household labor by gender when both parents can take time to care for a new baby. If substitute goods, mothers are able to return to work sooner as fathers take some of the childcare responsibility.
As for the latter, longer leave for fathers can motivate mothers to also stay home. Length of leave[ edit ] Family policy during World War II when women were recruited into the workplace.
Before the reform, women had a mandatory two-month parental leave, and could take up to three years unpaid parental leave with their job guaranteed, though most women only took the two months. The authors found positive effects on employment: The authors point to similar results of full-time, short paid parental leave observed in Canada in by Baker and Milligan,  and in Germany in by Kluve and Tamm.
Rasmussen conducted analyzed a similar natural experiment in Denmark with a policy change in where parental leave increased from 14 to 20 weeks.
There was no difference on children's long-term educational outcomes before and after the policy change. Paid leave, particularly when available prior to childbirth, had a significant effect on birth weight.
The frequency of low birth rate decreases under these policies which likely contributes to the decrease in infant mortality rates as low birth weight is strongly correlated with infant death. However, careful analysis reveals that increased birth weight is not the sole reason for the decreased mortality rate.
The effects of mother's employment appeared to be the most detrimental when employment started between the sixth and ninth month of life. Negative impacts in terms of school-readiness were most pronounced when the mother worked at least 30 hours per week. These findings were complicated by many factors, including race, poverty, and how sensitive the mother was considered.
The effects were also greater in boys which is explained by the fact that many analysts consider boys more vulnerable to stress in early life. It found that parents with paid parental leave had more intense bonds with their children. While the probability of experiencing postpartum depression had no significant statistical change, longer leave leave over 10 weeks was associated with decreased severity of depression and decreased number of experienced symptoms.
The research looked at women 25—34 years old, who are more likely to be affected by leave legislation. Fertility rates peaked for those between and across European countries.
According to a study, the expansion of government-funded maternity leave in Norway from 18 to 35 months had net costs which amounted to 0. You may improve this article , discuss the issue on the talk page. May Learn how and when to remove this template message Some businesses adopt policies that are favorable to workers and public opinion. In their study of maternity leave policies in the United States, Kelly and Dobbin found that public policy surrounding pregnancy as a temporary disability for instance, California's Family Temporary Disability Insurance program gave rise to business practices that included maternity leave as a benefit.
Some see the increase in paid parental leave as indicative of companies reaching out to women, as more women are working and returning to work after having children, and by doing so these companies generate positive publicity as employers with family-friendly workplaces.
The report also noted that it would take newer workers four years to accrue enough paid leave sick leave and annual leave to equal the 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave provided under the FMLA, and that private sector companies which offer paid parental leave have a significant advantage over the federal government in the recruitment and retention of younger workers who may wish to have children. As of , only three countries do not mandate paid time off for new parents: Parental leave is generally available to either parent, except where specified.
Leave marked "Unpaid" indicates the job is protected for the duration of the leave. Different countries have different rules regarding eligibility for leave, and long a parent has to have worked at their place of employment prior to giving birth before they are eligible for paid leave.
In the European Union , the policies vary significantly by country - with regard to length, to payment, and to how parental leave relates to prior maternity leave - but the EU members must abide by the minimum standards of the Pregnant Workers Directive and Parental Leave Directive.