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close this bookABC of Women Workers' Rights and Gender Equality (ILO; 2000; 124 pages)
View the documentThe International Labour Organization
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View the documentPreface to the earlier ABC of women workers' rights
View the documentPreface to the new ABC of women workers' rights and gender equality
Open this folder and view contentsIntroduction: Labour standards promoting women workers' rights and gender equality (Ingeborg Heide1)
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View the documentPaid educational leave
View the documentParental leave
View the documentPart-time work
View the documentPension (old-age benefit)
View the documentPlantation workers
View the documentProbationary period
View the documentProtection of health during maternity
View the documentPublic employment services and private employment agencies
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Parental leave

Parental leave is leave granted to either parent in order to care for a child. It generally follows a period of maternity leave, to which only the mother is entitled. In some countries, parental leave is granted in the event of adoption as well. Parental leave is different from "paternity leave ", which is leave for the father at the time of the confinement.

Either parent should have the possibility of obtaining leave of absence for child-care purposes:

• within a period immediately following maternity leave;
• in case of illness of a dependent child; and
• for other reasons connected with the upbringing of a child.

In order to promote gender equality, a growing number of countries have passed parental leave legislation in various forms and under various conditions, some of which provide for cash benefits to be paid during the leave period. In the European Union, a new supranational instrument on parental leave was adopted in 1996.

C. 156: Workers with Family Responsibilities, 1981
R. 165: Workers with Family Responsibilities, 1981

→ see also Family responsibilities, workers with, Maternity leave and Teachers

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