Changes in mothers’ uptake of parental leave in Poland

Katarzyna Kocot-Górecka, Warsaw School of Economics
Irena E. Kotowska, Warsaw School of Economics

The aim of the paper is to demonstrate how Polish women change patterns of their use of parental leave under the time of the deep labour market transformation. Despite the fact that leave duration remained unchanged during the recent two decades, the overall trend to reduce its duration in the years 1991-2010 seems to reflect mothers’ adaptation to the labour market dynamics and job uncertainty. However, the time spent on leave vary across different groups of mothers with different labour experience, family situation, and work attitudes, etc. The research hypothesis states that the leave duration depends on mothers’ work record, education, attitudes towards work, family background and preferences regarding family model (male breadwinner vs. dual earner). In addition, these impacts are moderated by the business cycle. The data used come from the first round of the Generations and Gender Survey in Poland, carried out in 2011. The questionnaire used includes questions on the labour market biography of respondents and allows to study interdependencies between labour market behaviours and parenthood. For our purpose the GLM is used. The leave duration after the first and second births are modelled separately. The explanatory variables include: individual characteristics (age, education, number of children), professional biography (work record, job mobility), gender roles (opinions on mothers’ work and children’s wellbeing), parental home (place of birth, economic activity of respondent’s mother), family model preferences . The results are expected to contribute to the on-going discussion in Poland on family policy reforms, especially on a need to revise the parental leave system by shortening leave duration and improving benefit coverage.

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Presented in Session 9: Parental leave uptake: causes and consequences