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IOE Blog


Expert opinion from IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society


Making time to care: parental leave today and tomorrow

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 14 September 2021

darkside-550 / Pixabay

Peter Moss and Alison Koslowski.

Work-life balance and gender equality are firmly on today’s political agenda, nationally and internationally. Key to achieving both is parenting leave, including maternity, paternity and parental leave, as well as leave for parents to care for sick children. Our new report, freely available online, provides an invaluable source of information about parenting leave, in the UK and 46 other countries.

The annual international review on leave policies is produced by a network of experts from many countries, across six continents including nearly all of Europe. As well as full details of parenting leaves in all 47 countries covered and cross-national tables, the review has information on recent developments in leave policy, take-up, the relationship between leave policies and early childhood services, plus a section on responses to Covid, covering early childhood services, schools, changes to leave policies and other support for parents.

At 645 pages, the 17th annual international review of the leave network is hard to summarise. Here are just a few tasters. What’s immediately striking is the great diversity in how countries design and implement leave policies – even between member states of the European Union, where directives set minimum standards for (more…)

Parental leave: what is it for and how do we make it work?

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 15 April 2019

Peter Moss.

Leave policies for parents (maternity, paternity and parental leave) are high on today’s policy agenda, not only in higher income countries but around the world. A recent International Labour Organisation (ILO) survey found all bar two countries (Papua New Guinea and the USA) had some paid maternity leave, while 79 had paternity leave and 66 parental leave.

This month, the EU is expected to adopt a new Work-Life Balance Directive, which sets a number of new or higher standards for parental, paternity and carer’s leave, and the right to request flexible working arrangements – an initiative so far ignored by the British media.

Yet despite this attention, many issues remain about how best to make leave policies effective and inclusive in a fast-changing world and to ensure they support a more equal and sustainable relationship between care, employment and gender.

These are the subjects of a new book published on April 17 – Parental Leave and Beyond: new international developments, current issues and future directions. It’s the product of a (more…)