parental leave


Parental leave is granted to either parent in order to care for a child. This parents’ right may be transferred to another family member if the national law provides for such an exemption. It generally follows a period of maternity leave, to which in principle only the mother is entitled. In some countries, parental leave is granted to adoptive or foster parents, while others consider adoption leave as a form of maternity leave. Parental leave may be combined with part-time work arrangements. Parental leave aims at facilitating the reconciliation of work, private and family life, thus creating an important link with gender equality.

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(1) International Labour Organization – ILO (2007). ABC of Women Workers’ Rights and Gender Equality. Available at: (2) European Commission (2015). The Implementation of Parental Leave Directive 2010/18 in 33 European Countries. European Network of Legal Experts in the Field of Gender Equality.