Non-uptake of parental leave in migrant populations: a longitudinal perspective

Tine Kil, Universiteit Antwerpen
Jonas Wood, Universiteit Antwerpen
Karel Neels, Universiteit Antwerpen

Family policies in Europe have been extended considerably in last decades in order to reduce the work-family conflict for parents. Although the assessment of family policy uptake among migrants could contribute to our understanding of how migrant inclusion in the welfare state and labour market evolves across the life course, this is a largely understudied subject. This study aims to fill this gap in knowledge by looking into differences in parental leave uptake among European and non-European migrant mothers of the first and second generation while comparing them to native Belgian mothers. Using longitudinal data, mixed effects logit models are estimated for 10.964 one-child mothers that gave birth between 2004 and 2010. Findings indicate that there is a strong ethnic gradient in the uptake of parental leave among one-child mothers in Belgium. However, when controlling for eligibility and pre-birth employment characteristics the gradient disappears. In line with former research, our study shows that parental leave legislation perpetuates social inequalities by mainly supporting the balance between work and family for those who already attained an advantageous position in the labour market.

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Presented in Session 34: Making use of family policy: fertility and labour market effects