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Longitudinal Study: LSAC
Title: Returning too soon? Australian Mothers' Satisfaction with maternity leave duration
Authors: Hosking, A 
Whitehouse, Gillian 
Baird, Marian 
Publication Date: Dec-2008
Pages: 288-302
Keywords: maternity leave
optimal leave duration
paid leave
Abstract: This paper examines the question of optimal duration of maternity leave through the lens of Australian mothers' perceptions of satisfaction with their leave: specifically, whether and why they returned to work earlier than they would have liked. Analysis of The Parental Leave in Australia Survey identifies financial need and limited access to paid maternity leave as the most common reasons for returning `early'. Mothers taking leave for less than 9 months were significantly more likely than those taking longer periods to report that they had returned earlier than they wanted to, although leave periods over 12 months were not consistently associated with further declines in dissatisfaction with duration. Overall, the analysis highlights the financial pressures underpinning women's decisions, and suggests that enhanced availability of paid leave is more likely to be welcomed than further extension of leave duration.
DOI: 10.1177/1038411108095760
Keywords: Families; Employment -- Conditions; Employment; Families -- Mothers
Research collection: Journal Articles
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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