European study of attitudes to parental leave

12 April 2005

A new report from the European Commission explores attitudes across the European Union towards the rights of men to take up parental leave.

Four main questions:

  1. The questionnaire starts off by evaluating the level of men’s knowledge regarding their
    right to take parental leave.
  2. It goes on to look at the reasons why men have taken or are considering taking up
    parental leave.
  3. Where men have not taken up parental leave or are not considering doing so, the reasons
    for this are explored.
  4. Lastly, respondents were asked what, in their view, would be the main reasons that would
    encourage men to take parental leave and the main reasons that would discourage them.

Key Findings

  1. Across the EU, 75% men were aware of the right to take parental leave (72.5% in UK)
  2. 84% of men had neither taken parental leave nor were thinking of doing so (80% in the UK)
  3. Among reasons given were; not knowing about parental leave, not being able to afford to take it, thinking it was for women, and having a wife/partner who doesn’t work.
  4. Factors that would encourage more uptake include; better pay for the leave, being guarenteed job/career security, better information about the leave, better attitudes from employers and colleagues, splitting leave into smaller installments/part time working, among others.

A copy of the report can be downloaded below.

Europeans attitudes to parental leave

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