Reconceptualizing Parental Leave Benefits in COVID-19 Canada: From Employment Policy to Care and Social Protection Policy

Reconceptualizing Parental Leave Benefits in COVID-19 Canada: From Employment Policy to Care and Social Protection Policy

Reconceptualizing Parental Leave Benefits in COVID-19 Canada: From Employment Policy to Care and Social Protection Policy

Reconceptualizing Parental Leave Benefits in COVID-19 Canada: From Employment Policy to Care and Social Protection Policys

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Référence bibliographique [21435]

Doucet, Andrea, Mathieu, Sophie et McKay, Lindsey. 2020. «Reconceptualizing Parental Leave Benefits in COVID-19 Canada: From Employment Policy to Care and Social Protection Policy ». Analyse de politiques / Canadian Public Policy, vol. 46, no S3, p. S272-S286.

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1. Objectifs


Intentions :
«This article is organized in two sections. [Authors] first provide a brief overview of Canada’s complex parental leave architecture. [They] then lay out our three lines of thinking about parental benefits as care and social protection policies, with [their] arguments aimed specifically at the EI [Employment Insurance] system of parental benefits.» (p. S274)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
«This article is informed by [a] mixed-methods research (qualitative longitudinal research across a decade and quantitative analysis), [a] conceptual work, and [a] participation in the International Network on Leave Policies and Research (n.d.), which provides an invaluable international comparative lens.» (p. S273) The «qualitative research has included longitudinal (2006–2016) couple and individual interviews with 26 couples (mainly White middle- to lower-income mother–father couples and one two-father couple; in the second stage, ten years later, nine couples participated) in Ontario and Quebec (see Doucet and McKay 2017, 2020; McKay and Doucet 2010). [The] quantitative data sources included comparative provincial data from the EI Coverage Survey, an annual national survey conducted by Statistics Canada on behalf of ESDC [Employment and Social Development Canada], which manages the EI program, and administrative data (2017) from Quebec’s Conseil de gestion de l’assurance parentale (see Mathieu et al. 2020). [The] conceptual work attends to questions of measurement and genealogies of concepts informing parental leave research and social protection policies (see Doucet, McKay, and Mathieu 2019 ).» (p. S279-280)

Instruments :
- Guide d’entretien
- Questionnaire

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse de contenu
Analyse statistique

3. Résumé


«Although parental benefits are more accessible and generous in Quebec, both Canada’s and Quebec’s parental benefits programs are premised on labour force attachment. In each program, leaves are a form of social insurance that covers a limited group of potential participants. They are contributory wage replacement social insurance schemes funded not through general revenue but through a separate pool of funds.» (p. S274) «Because the pandemic has created extraordinary levels of uncertainty and unpredictability in both paid work and care work, thinking about more flexible and longer parental leaves beyond the first year of care would “allow fathers and mothers at various parenting stages to manage caregiving demands when needed” […]. In this vein, new proposed policy changes to QPIP [Quebec Provincial Insurance Program] to widen the leave-taking […] are one example of this kind of flexibility […].» (p. S277) Moreover, although «data on the number of fathers taking parental leave with the federal EI parental sharing benefit are not yet available, we know that it is not an individual non-transferable leave. It is linked to the couple and, more specifically, depends on both members of the couple having access to EI benefits. [L]arge gaps already exist in terms of access to and eligibility for parental leave in most provinces and territories, and it is highly probable that these gaps will worsen during and after the pandemic.» (p. S278)