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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UCLA: Same-sex Male Couples Losing Out on Paid Parental Leave

Limited paid leave for fathers and a lack of inclusive language in government policies may be to blame for same-sex male couples losing out on paid parental leave when compared to both same-sex female and different-sex couples according to a new UCLA Fielding School of Public Health study.

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.

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