Work Patterns After Paid Parental Leave


  • Sarah Crichton Department of Labour



This paper uses longitudinal data from the Linked Employer-Employee Dataset to describe the employment and earnings patterns of people who first received paid parental leave between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2005. Recipients were observed for at least 36 months before starting leave and at least 18 months afterwards. We focused on whether and when recipients returned to work, whether recipients returned to the same employer or not, and changes in earnings before and after taking leave. We also explored associations between prior earnings, the likelihood of returning to work, experiencing a change in earing’s and starting a new employment relationship. We found that -10 percent of recipients were working six months after starting parental leave, and nearly 70 percent were working 13- 18 months later. Qverall three-quarters of recipients returned to work within 12 months of starting parental leave, and two-thirds of those returned to work after taking six months leave or less. Many people reduced their earnings after returning to work, with around one-third earning considerably less than before. Most people who returned to worked within 12 months of starting leave returned to the same employer, while one-fifth started a new employment relationship. Those who did not return to the same employer, but started a new job, were much more likely to have reduced their earnings. Until the majority of recipients who returned to work changed their working arrangements, most commonly by reducing their earnings, or in some cases starting a new job, around one-fifth were working for the same employer and had similar earnings 12-18 months after starting parental leave.


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