Same-sex male couples are losing out on paid parental leave when
compared to both same-sex female and different-sex couples, according to
A study published in the Journal of Social Policy compared paid parental leave policies in 34 OECD countries.
In the 33 countries with national paid parental leave, researchers
found same-sex female couples received equal amounts of paid leave to
different-sex couples in 19, while same-sex male couples got equal
amounts of leave in only four. The United States was alone in offering
no national paid parental leave to new birth parents.
The team at the WORLD Policy Analysis Center looked at the
countries’ labour, social security and parental leave legislation,
studying government websites and other trusted sources to confirm the
way those laws were applied and regulated.
To determine the duration of paid leave available to people in
different relationships, the study looked at ‘key indicators’ covering
the length of maternity, paternity and shared parental leave set out in
government policies and at whether those policies were worded in ways
that included or excluded same-sex couples.
The duration of paid leave available varied greatly, with
different-sex couples receiving between 13 and 184 weeks of paid leave.
In comparison, same-sex female couples were entitled to between 12 and
164 weeks, while the duration available to same-sex male couples ranged
from nothing at all to 156 weeks.
When it came to paid leave for adoptive parents, three of the 34
countries provided no paid adoption leave, while nine countries banned
adoption by same-sex couples. Of the remaining 22 countries, 19 provided
the same amount of paid adoption leave for parents, regardless of
whether they were in a same- or different-sex partnership.
Of the 33 OECD countries offering paid parental leave for either
birth or adoption, only four guaranteed equal leave for all parents
regardless of their gender or partnership status.
Elizabeth Wong from the University of California, Los Angeles, who
led the study, said: “Many of the differences we found may be the
indirect consequences of gender-restrictive language that assumes women
are the primary caregivers and that every family has one mother and one
“These assumptions often undervalue the importance of fathers’
involvement. When they do, same-sex male couples and male partners of
mothers are the most disadvantaged.
“While we didn’t find any legislation that explicitly prohibits
same-sex couples from receiving paid parental leave, the way policies
are structured or worded can nevertheless stop them from claiming
benefits. Policymakers can explicitly guarantee inclusion and equality
for same-sex couples by removing gender-restrictive language and
providing equal paid leave opportunities for fathers and partners as
provided to mothers.”
Dr. Jody Heymann, former Dean of the UCLA Fielding School of Public
Health and Founding Director of the WORLD Policy Analysis Center,
further emphasized: “Families benefit when all parents, regardless of
sex, gender identity or sexual orientation, can access paid leave to
care for and bond with their children.”
Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites)