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Longitudinal Study: LSAC
Title: Timing of mothers' return to work after childbearing: variations by job characteristics and leave use (Research Paper No. 42).
Authors: Baxter, Jennifer 
Institution: Australian Institute of Family Studies
Publication Date: Jul-2008
Abstract: Maternal employment rates are lowest in the first year of a child's life, as women leave or take a break from employment to care for an infant. Within this first year, however, there is considerable variation of maternal employment rates as some women make their way back to the workforce. This paper explores the timing of mothers' return to work using data from the 2005 Parental Leave in Australia Survey (PLAS), which was nested in the Wave 1.5 collection of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). Mothers of the infant cohort were asked a range of questions relating to their employment before and after the birth of their child and the types of leave taken. This information was used to analyse whether leave use and employment characteristics prior to the birth were associated with differences in the timing of return to work. Women who took leave had a higher likelihood of returning to work within 18 months, compared to those who took no leave or were not employed during their pregnancy. Whether this leave was paid, unpaid or a combination of paid and unpaid was associated with differences in the return-to-work patterns within this 18-month period, but by 18 months the likelihood of a mother returning to work differed very little across all these categories. Women who used only paid leave had a slightly higher rate of return to work than those who used only unpaid leave, with those who used a combination of paid and unpaid leave having a rate of return to work between these two groups. Other factors related to differences in timing of return to work are also discussed.
Keywords: Life events -- Birth/adoption; Employment; Life events
Research collection: Reports and technical papers
Appears in Collections:Reports

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