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Benefiting from extended parental leave

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The Daily
Marshall, Katherine
government document
Publication Date: 
21 Mar 2003

Findings include: - After the extension of parental benefits from 10 to 35 weeks, employed mothers in receipt of benefits increased (or planned to increase) their time away from work from 6 months in 2000 to 10 months in 2001. - One-quarter of all mothers with benefits in 2001 were back to work within 8 months. These women were more likely to have a non-permanent or low-paying job, or a spouse who claimed parental benefits. - Time taken off work by mothers who did not receive maternity or parental benefits and returned to work remained at four months for 2001. - More new mothers received maternity or parental benefits in 2001 than in 2000 (61% versus 54%) -- likely because of the reduced number of hours required for benefits and women's increased labour force participation. - After the extension of parental benefits, fathers' participation in the program jumped from 3% in 2000 to 10% in 2001.