Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Comparing the availability of paid parental leave for same-sex and different-sex couples in 34 OECD countries

  • ELIZABETH WONG (a1), JUDY JOU (a2), AMY RAUB (a3) and JODY HEYMANN (a4)

Abstract

The availability of paid family leave has been widely researched in the context of a two-parent household with one mother and one father, yet few studies have explored whether households with same-sex parents have access to equal benefits. Expanding on previous cross-country comparisons of parental leave policies, this study examines parental leave policies in 34 OECD countries to compare the total duration of paid parental leave available to same-sex and different-sex parent families within a country. We find that same-sex female and different-sex couples receive equal durations of leave in the majority of countries. However, same-sex male couples often receive shorter durations of paid parental leave compared to both different-sex and same-sex female couples. In addition to addressing the implications of laws and policies surrounding same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption on parental leave availability, we highlight specific aspects of paid leave policies that may explain the unequal durations of paid leave between same-sex and different-sex couples.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Adema, W., Clarke, C. and Frey, V. (2015), Paid Parental Leave: Lessons from OECD Countries and Selected U.S. States. OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, No. 172.
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2008), Anemia in pregnancy. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 112(1), 201207.
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2011), Thromboembolism in pregnancy. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 118(3), 718729.
Avendano, M., Berkman, L. F., Brugiavini, A. and Pasini, G. (2015), The long-run effect of maternity leave benefits on mental health: evidence from European countries. Social Science & Medicine, 132, 4553.
Badgett, M. V. L., Durso, L. E. and Schneebaum, A. (2013), New Patterns of Poverty in the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community. Retrieved from https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/LGB-Poverty-Update-Jun-2013.pdf
Baker, M. and Milligan, K. S. (2008), Maternal employment, breastfeeding, and health: Evidence from maternity leave mandates. Journal of Health Economics, 27(4), 871887.
Berger, L. M., Hill, J. and Waldfogel, J. (2005), Maternity leave, early maternal employment and child health and development in the US. The Economic Journal, 115(501), F29F47.
Cave, D. and Williams, J. (2017), Australia Makes Same-Sex Marriage Legal. New York Times.
Chang, A. (2017), Same-Sex Spouses Turn To Adoption To Protect Parental Rights. All Things Considered. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2017/09/22/551814731/same-sex-spouses-turn-to-adoption-to-protect-parental-rights
Chatterji, P. and Markowitz, S. (2012), Family leave after childbirth and the mental health of new mothers. Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics, 15(2), 6176.
Chaudry, A. and Wimer, C. (2016), Poverty is Not Just an Indicator: The Relationship Between Income, Poverty, and Child Well-Being. Academic Pediatrics, 16(3 Suppl), S2329.
Chiu, M., Rahman, F., Kurdyak, P., Cairney, J., Jembere, N. and Vigod, S. (2017), Self-rated health and mental health of lone fathers compared with lone mothers and partnered fathers: a population-based cross-sectional study. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 71(5), 417423.
Crosier, T., Butterworth, P. and Rodgers, B. (2007), Mental health problems among single and partnered mothers. The role of financial hardship and social support. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 42(1), 613.
Daku, M., Raub, A. and Heymann, J. (2012), Maternal leave policies and vaccination coverage: a global analysis. Social Science & Medicine, 74(2), 120124.
Ekberg, J., Eriksson, R. and Friebel, G. (2013), Parental leave: A policy evaluation of the Swedish “daddy-month” reform. Journal of Public Economics, 97, 131143.
El-Sayed, A. M., Scarborough, P. and Galea, S. (2012), Socioeconomic Inequalities in Childhood Obesity in the United Kingdom: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Obesity Facts, 5(5), 671692.
European Commission. (2016), Mutual Information System on Social Protection (MISSOC) Comparitive Tables Database. Retrieved from https://www.missoc.org/
European Court of Human Rights. (2018), Refusal of a request for paternity leave made by a lesbian following the birth of her partner’s child: application declared inadmissible [Press release]
European Parliament. (2016), On the application of Council Directive 2010/18/EU of 8 March 2010 implementing the revised Framework Agreement on parental leave. Retrieved from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/A-8-2016-0076_EN.html
Flacking, R., Dykes, F. and Ewald, U. (2010), The influence of fathers’ socioeconomic status and paternity leave on breastfeeding duration: a population-based cohort study. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 38(4), 337343.
Gates, G. J. (2013), LGBT Parenting in the United States. Retrieved from https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/LGBT-Parenting.pdf
Gornick, J. C., Meyers, M. K. and Ross, K. E. (1997), Supporting the Employment of Mothers: Policy Variation Across Fourteen Welfare States. Journal of European Social Policy, 7(1), 4570.
Haas, L. and Hwang, C. P. (2008), The Impact of Taking Parental Leave on Fathers’ Participation In Childcare And Relationships With Children: Lessons from Sweden. Community, Work & Family, 11(1), 85104.
Heymann, S. J. and Earle, A. (2010), Raising the global floor: Dismantling the mylth that we can’t afford good working conditions for everyone. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Heymann, S. J. and McNeill, K. (2013), Children’s chance: How countries can move from surviving to thriving. Boston: Harvard University Press.
Heymann, S. J., Raub, A. and Earle, A. (2011), Creating and using new data sources to analyze the relationship between social policy and global health: The case of maternal leave. Public Health Reports, 126(Suppl 3), 127134.
Heymann, S. J., Sprague, A. R., Nandi, A., Earle, A., Batra, P., Schickedanz, A., Chung, P. J., and Raub, A. (2017), Paid parental leave and family wellbeing in the sustainable development era. Public Health Reviews, 38(1), 21.
Huang, R. and Yang, M. (2015), Paid maternity leave and breastfeeding practice before and after California’s implementation of the nation’s first paid family leave program. Economics & Human Biology, 16, 4559.
Huerta, M. d. C., Adema, W., Baxter, J., Han, W.-J., Lausten, M., Lee, R. and Waldfogel, J. (2013), Fathers’ Leave, Fathers’ Involvement and Child Development: Are They Related? Evidence from Four OECD Countries. OECD Social, Employment, and Migration Working Papers N°140.
Human Rights Campaign. (2017), How Much Does Adoption Cost? Retrieved from https://www.hrc.org/resources/how-much-does-adoption-cost
ILGA. (2016), State Sponsored Homophobia: A world survey of sexual orientation laws: criminalisation, protection and recognition (11 ed.), Geneva: International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.
ILGA. (2017), State Sponsored Homophobia: A world survey of sexual orientation laws: criminalisation, protection and recognition (12 ed.), Geneva: International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.
ILO. (2011), Working Conditions Laws Database. Retrieved from http://www.ilo.org/dyn/travail
ILO. (2016), NATLEX. Retrieved from http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/natlex4.home?p_lang=en
King, E. B., Huffman, A. H. and Peddie, C. I. (2012), LGBT Parents and the Workplace. In Goldberg, A. E. and Allen, K. R. (Eds.), LGBT-Parent Families: Innovations in Research and Implications for Practice. New York: Springer.
Kong, K. A. and Kim, S. I. (2015), Mental health of single fathers living in an urban community in South Korea. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 56, 188197.
Koslowski, A., Blum, S. and Moss, P. (2016), International Network on Leave Policies & Research. Retrieved from http://www.leavenetwork.org/
Koslowski, A., Blum, S. and Moss, P. (2017), International Network on Leave Policies & Research. Retrieved from http://www.leavenetwork.org/
Kotsadam, A. and Finseraas, H. (2011), The state intervenes in the battle of the sexes: Causal effects of paternity leave. Social Science Research, 40(6), 16111622.
Languilaire, J.-C. E. and Carey, N. (2017), LGBT voices in work-life: a call for research and a research community. Community, Work & Family, 20(1), 99111.
Maldonado, L. C. and Nieuwenhuis, R. (2015), Family policies and single parent poverty in 18 OECD countries, 1978–2008. Community, Work & Family, 18(4), 395415.
Misra, J., Moller, S., Strader, E. and Wemlinger, E. (2012), Family policies, employment and poverty among partnered and single mothers. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 30(1), 113128.
Nepomnyaschy, L. and Waldfogel, J. (2007), Paternity leave and fathers’ involvement with their young children. Community, Work & Family, 10(4), 427453.
O’Brien, M. (2009), Fathers, parental leave policies, and infant quality of life: International perspectives and policy impact. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 624(1), 190213.
OECD. (2013), Recommendation of the Council on Gender Equality in Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship. Retrieved from https://www.oecd.org/gender/C-MIN(2013)5-ENG.pdf
OECD. (2017), Key characteristics of parental leave systems. Retrieved from https://www.oecd.org/els/soc/PF2_1_Parental_leave_systems.pdf
Page, M. and Wilhelm, M. S. (2007), Postpartum Daily Stress, Relationship Quality, and Depressive Symptoms. Contemporary Family Therapy, 29(4), 237251.
Patnaik, A. (2017), Reserving Time for Daddy: The Consequences of Fathers’ Quotas. SSRN Working Paper.
Prokos, A. H. and Keene, J. R. (2010), Poverty Among Cohabiting Gay and Lesbian, and Married and Cohabiting Heterosexual Families. Journal of Family Issues, 31(7), 934959.
Ravanera, Z. (2007), Informal Networks Social Capital of Fathers: What Does the Social Engagement Survey Tell Us? Social Indicators Research, 83(2), 351373.
Ray, R., Gornick, J. C. and Schmitt, J. (2010), Who cares? assessing generosity and gender equality in parental leave policy designs in 21 countries. Journal of European Social Policy, 20(3), 196216.
Rousou, E., Kouta, C. and Middleton, N. (2016), Association of social support and socio-demographic characteristics with poor self-rated health and depressive symptomatology among single mothers in Cyprus: a descriptive cross-sectional study. BMC Nursing, 15(1), 15.
Ruhm, C. J. (2000), Parental Leave and Child Health. Journal of Health Economics, 19(6), 931960.
Ruhm, C. J. (2004), Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development. The Journal of Human Resources, 39(1), 155192.
Schober, P. S. (2014), Parental Leave and Domestic Work of Mothers and Fathers: A Longitudinal Study of Two Reforms in West Germany. Journal of Social Policy, 43(2), 351372.
Sibai, B. and Frangieh, A. (1995), Maternal adaptation to pregnancy. Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 7(6), 420426.
Smale, A. and Shimer, D. (2017), German Parliament Approves Same-Sex Marriage. New York Times.
Stier, H. and Mandel, H. (2009), Inequality in the family: The institutional aspects of women’s earning contribution. Social Science Research, 38(3), 594608.
Strohschein, L. and Gauthier, A. H. (2017), Poverty Dynamics, Parenting, and Child Mental Health in Canada. Society and Mental Health, 8(3), 231247.
Tammy, D. A. and Lillian, T. E. (2016), Advancing Work–Family Research and Practice. In Tammy, D. A. and Lillian, T. E. (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Work and Family: Oxford University Press.
Tanaka, S. (2005), Parental leave and child health across OECD countries. The Economic Journal, 115(501), F7F28.
Tanaka, S. and Waldfogel, J. (2007), Effects of parental leave and work hours on fathers’ involvement with their babies. Community, Work & Family, 10(4), 409426.
Twamley, K. and Schober, P. I. A. (2018), Shared Parental Leave: Exploring Variations in Attitudes, Eligibility, Knowledge and Take-up Intentions of Expectant Mothers in London. Journal of Social Policy, 1–21.
U.S. Social Security Administration. (2016), Social Security Programs Throughout the World. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/progdesc/ssptw/
Valfort, M.-A. (2017), LGBTI in OECD Countries. OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers No. 198.
Waaldijk, K. (2005), More or Less Together: Levels of legal consequences of marriage, cohabitation and registered partnership for different-sex and same-sex partners. Institut National d’Etudes Démographiques Documents de Travail #125.
Waldfogel, J. (1998), The Family Gap for Young Women in the United States and Britain: Can Maternity Leave Make a Difference? Journal of Labor Economics, 16(3), 505545.
Waldfogel, J., Han, W.-J. and Brooks-Gunn, J. (2002), The effects of early maternal employment on child cognitive development. Demography, 39(2), 369392.
Williams, J. W. and Hoffman, B. (2012), Williams Gynecology (Vol. 2nd ed.), New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
WORLD Policy Analysis Center. (2015), Is paid leave available to mothers and fathers of infants? Retrieved from https://www.worldpolicycenter.org
Yogyakarta Principles. (2007), Retrieved from http://yogyakartaprinciples.org/

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed