Paternity Leave in Québec: Between Social Objectives and Workplace Challenges

Paternity Leave in Québec: Between Social Objectives and Workplace Challenges

Paternity Leave in Québec: Between Social Objectives and Workplace Challenges

Paternity Leave in Québec: Between Social Objectives and Workplace Challengess

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Référence bibliographique [20578]

Community, Work & Family.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs


Intentions :
Les auteures explorent l’impact des congés de paternité prévus par le Régime québécois d’assurance parental sur la qualité de vie des pères.

Questions/Hypothèses :
This article «addresses the following questions: What are the most frequent tensions experienced by fathers when they use the weeks of parental leave that are allocated to them? How did they negotiate their leave with the employer? How was the return to work after parental leave?» (p. 5)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
Authors «combined the results of two series of interviews that investigated fathers’ use of parental leave in Quebec. The first set of interviews was conducted in various employment sectors (including education, public service, manufacturing) and tried to understand the experience of 26 fathers who took at least four weeks of leave, home alone without the mother, who had returned to work.» (p. 7) For the second set of interviews, a «total of 31 interviews were conducted, outside the company site. The IT [information technology] sector was chosen because the challenges faced by fathers working in a male-dominated company are numerous: high pressure, overtime, frequent crunch times to finish a project.» (p. 7)

Instruments :
Guides d’entretien semi-directif

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse de contenu

3. Résumé


The authors’ «interviews suggest that generally, the 5 weeks paternity leave was well accepted. However, a father who wanted to take more (as it is possible to take-up to 32 additional weeks of parental leave) took more risks because parental leave can be perceived negatively as some kind of “vacation”, which brings the company to find a replacement. After one year of parental leave, the return can be harsh for the father. The person hired to do their job while they were absent had the time to become well integrated into the team and the company; some potential promotions may have been passed up during the leave; bonuses and other advantages can be declined to a newly returned parent who has the reputation of being less engaged and involved in the success of the company. Consequently, parental leave also has an impact on parents’ priorities. [Indeed, caught] between their work and their parental obligations (child’s illness, kindergarten schedules, etc.), parents live a daily tension which can degenerate and lead to conflicts […], and a certain number of parents, including fathers, will choose to resign from their job and their company for a position where there are fewer expectations or less weekly hours of work […].» (p. 12)