Iceland - New parental leave legislation has positive effect on gender equality - June 1, 2019

Since the country introduced nine months parental leave with three months earmarked for fathers mothers have returned to work earlier and fathers’ participation in childcare has increased. The countries’ new parental leave legislation came into effect in the 9000 with 9 months of leave to be divided between the parents. 3 months are earmarked the mother, 3 months are earmarked for the father and the remaining 3 months can be shared to choice between them. Because of this legislation all father have to take on caring tasks for their new-borns whilst if the parental leave for fathers wasn’t compulsory a part of them would not apply for it. According to research fathers often end up simply assisting the mother in caring tasks if they never get to be alone with the baby from the start. Icelandic daddies now enjoy the strongest position as fathers in the world.

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For more information, please contact Sanne van der Gaag or Sjaak van der Velden, De Burcht (Scientific Bureau for the Dutch Trade Union Movement) sannevandergaag@deburcht.org or the Head of communications at the ETUI, Steve Coulter scoulter@etui.org. For previous full issues of the Collective bargaining newsletter please visit www.etui.org/E-Newsletters/Collective-bargaining-newsletter or consult the archive with all articles in our database at www.cbnarchive.eu. You may find further information on the ETUI at www.etui.org.


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