Does paternity leave affect mothers’ sickness absence

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Bratberg, Espen ; Naz, Ghazala (2009)
  • Subject: Parental leave; paternity quota; gender neutral leave; sickness absence
    • jel: jel:J22 | jel:J16 | jel:I38

Female labour force participation is high in Norway but sickness absence rates are higher for women than for men. This may be partly a result of unequal sharing of childcare in the family. In this paper, we consider the effect of paternity leave on sickness absence among women who have recently given birth. We draw on a six-year panel taken from full population data from administrative sources. We find that in the 6% of families where fathers take out leave more than the standard quota (gender-neutral leave), the incidence of absence among mothers is reduced by about 5–10% from an average level of 20%.
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