Gender equality incentives within the childbirth-related leave arrangements in Slovenia and their consequences
Nada Stropnik, Institute for Economic Research, Slovenia
Nataša Kump, Institute for Economic Research, Slovenia
The fathers' entitlement to parental leave was enacted in Slovenia as early as 1974 (like in Sweden). Since 1986 there is a whole year of fully compensated maternity and parental leave, and since 2003 there are three more months of paternity leave (with full earnings compensation during 15 days). Nevertheless, the fathers have not been (very) eager to make use of their entitlements or to take many days of leave, which is particularly true for the parental leave. A shift was registered in 2003 and is attributed to a higher awareness of the fathers’ entitlements following the introduction of the paternity leave. The paper makes use of the Slovenian database of fathers, who were the parental- and/or paternity leave beneficiaries from December 2005 to April 2009, to find out who were the men who took (paid and non-paid) paternity leave and (paid) parental leave. Based on these results and the official statistics, a rough evaluation of the effectiveness of the Slovenian leave policy from the gender equality perspective is provided. The other database was obtained by the survey conducted in Slovenia in June 2010. A representative sample includes 1,000 persons aged 20-49 years. This database is used to identify: (a) the fathers' reasons for not having taken more days of leave; (b) the changes in the paternity/parental leave arrangement that would stimulate fathers to take (more days of) the leave; (c) an impact of the fathers' take-up of leave on the women's decision making regarding having a(nother) child; and (d) the arrangement(s) involving fathers that would motivate people to have a(nother) child or to have it earlier. The repetition of some questions from the 2000 International Population Policy and Attitudes Survey enables the identification of changes in opinions/attitudes in the period 2000-2010.