Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The politics of parental leave policiesChildren, parenting, gender and the labour market$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Sheila Kamerman and Peter Moss

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847420671

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847420671.001.0001

Show Summary Details



(p.259) Sixteen Conclusion
The politics of parental leave policies

Sheila B. Kamerman

Peter Moss

Policy Press

This book tackles public policies that are targeted at young children and their families. In particular, it discusses those that concern parenting and employment policies. Parental leave policies incorporate responses to multiple concerns, including economic support of families with young children; protection of maternal and child health, pregnancy, and childbirth; promotion of maternal employment; gender equality in the labour market and home; support for paternal time with children; involvement of parents in infants' care; and efforts to ensure that babies start their growth and development in decent circumstances. Debates about the importance of the first few years of life have been ongoing for several years, however it was only recently that policies targeted at young children and their families become an important focus of public policy. This increasing focus on the importance of childcare led to the policy interests in leave and early childhood education and care, driven by employment and gender equality goals. It has also led to the increasing interest in the reconciliation of work and family life or ‘work-life balance’. It is this context of the importance of the early years for many policy fields that forms the focus of this book. It looks at the developments in fifteen advanced industrialised countries and the EU with regard to parental leave policies. The focus is on the formation of policy and not on its outcomes. In particular, the book looks at the ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘who’, ‘when’, and ‘how’ of leave policies. It also discusses the major components of these policies as well as the diverse forms they take. It also tackles the policy choices that have been made, the influential actors in policy formation, the major policy changes, and the policy decisions that have been made. This concluding chapter discusses the policy-making process, the history of leave policies, and the politics of parental leave policies. In particular, it retraces maternal and infant health; fertility and population policies; labour market trends and policies; gender equality; political factors including political actors and institutions; social actors; governance; and the international influence of leave policies.

Keywords:   public policies, young children, families, parenting, employment policies, Parental leave, labour market, childcare, gender equality, work-life balance

Policy Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.