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Benefits of Statutory Paternity Leave

Aside from the family-work scheme, Australia should enact statutory paternity leave to encourage fathers to have enough time for them to be interested in child rearing. Furthermore, the policy would allow fathers to participate in household development. A father's presence in the life of an infant provides them with the ability to form a bloodline relationship. Furthermore, the more involved the father is with the infant, the closer they get, fostering the child's beneficial cognitive growth. Given the unfavorable nature of the Australian public policy regarding fathers' paternity leave, the government finds it even more challenging to embolden fathers into taking a parental sabbatical.

Importance of Father's Involvement in Raising a Child

The nature of the policy should be developed in a way that will positively influence the mindset of parents. Similarly, it should educate them on the importance of a father's involvement in raising up his kid. According to Huerta, et al. (2013), other than governmental policies, factors such as workplace culture, social expectations, availability of family-friends, as well as policies which influence attitude towards work also play a significant role. Therefore, by focusing on these factors, favorable daddy quotas will be established. Consequently, the society will benefit greatly from the resulting health and social benefits.

Positive Effects of Paternal Involvement

In studies carried out by Tanaka and Waldfogel, (2007), Haas and Hwang, (2008); O'Brien and Moss, (2010), as well as Brandth and Gislason, (2012), they all suggested that the policy on daddy's week increased the involvement of men in the home production activities as well as in childcare activities. As they further reveal, fathers who spend their time taking care of their children develop a healthy relationship with their kid. Also, Haas and Hwang (2008) acknowledge that dads who have attained advanced education have a higher likelihood of taking some parental leave and notably, an extensive leave period which will help them establish an intimate and profound relationship with their newborns. Despite taking a longer period, Hans and Hwang (2008) note that such educated dads spend less time with their children.

TheRole of Fathers in Child Development

The participation of a father in raising his child plays a vital role in their social, emotional, as well as cognitive development. (Lamb, 2010; Tamis-LeMonda and Cabrera, 2002). In their research, Huerta, M. et al. (2013) established that during a child's first years, the involvement of its fathers determined the kid's score on cognitive development. The more involved a father is, the higher the child's cognitive score. Similarly, the vice versa is also true. Huerta et al. (2013) further found that father's involvement in personal activities has shown no effect on children's cognitive but rather, a father's involvement in recreational and educational activities impact children's cognitive development.

Promoting Gender Equality

Among the benefits of the daddy quota, promotion of gender equality can also be considered. Despite its potential to bridge this gap, the expected outcome of the policy on gender equality cannot be precisely stated. According to Huerta et al. (2013), men should not expect to earn more money to support their families. However, they should assume equal responsibility of taking care of their children. Notwithstanding the substantial progress, the primary caregivers are women. Therefore, the implementation of such parental leave policy aims at promoting gender equality with regards to sharing of the responsibilities associated with taking care of a child. According to Tanaka and Waldfogel (2007), the sharing of responsibilities by both parents helps to prevent stereotyping of gender roles. Thus, the aspect of both parent involvement eliminates the view that women are the sole caregivers while fathers are exclusive breadwinners as per stereotyped gender roles.

Challenges in Current Policies

Findings in Australia and the US suggest that the countries have few public policies which deal with the issue of involvement of fathers in childcare. Both countries have more inclination to the traditional approach regarding gender roles. Similarly, Australia and the US still portray women as earning lower salaries for similar jobs as their male colleagues. In Australia, the national gender gap is recorded as 15.3% (Australian Government, n.d.). Thus, the rationale for men taking a shorter leave can be justified since women have a lower opportunity cost when taking a parental sabbatical, unlike men. With the moderate costs associated with taking leave, mothers have a higher chance of leaving their jobs to spend time with their children. According to Haas and Hwang (2008), this underlines the traditional gender-based division of labor for childcare.


In conclusion, Mandatory provisions on daddy quotas need to be introduced in Australia. With such regulations, Australian fathers will be motivated to take leave and spend some considerable time nurturing their kids. Despite some few challenges associated with the policy, there are significant benefits of giving sabbaticals to fathers. Besides, the government has a role to play in ensuring that the policy encourages every individual to take leave. With an appropriate policy provision, families from lower economic backgrounds as well as the less educated will significantly benefit from the program. Moreover, introducing the family-friendly policy will complement the parental leave policy thus encouraging all Australian families to consider and take leave.



Australian Government, n.d. What is the gender pay gap?. [Online]

Available at: < -gender- pay-gap >

[Accessed 31 October 2017].

Brandth, B. a. G. I. (., 2012. “Family policies and the best interest of children”,. In: in B.G. Eydal and I. Gíslason (eds.), “Parental leave, childcare and gender equality in the Nordic countries”, the Nordic Council, Copenhagen, Denmark.. s.l.:s.n.

Duvander, A. & Johansson, M., 2012. What are the effects of reforms promoting fathers’ parental leave use?’. Journal of European Social Policy, , 22(3), p. 319–330.

Haas, L. & Hwang, C., 2008. The impact of taking parental leave on fathers’ participation in childcare and relationships with children: lesson from Sweden. Community, Work & Family, 11(3), pp. 85-104. .

Huerta, M. A. W. B., Lausten, W. H., Lee, R. & Waldfogel, J., 2013. Fathers' Leave, Fathers' Involvement and Child Development: ARE THEY RELATED? EVIDENCE FROM FOUR OECD COUNTRIES,. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Naz, G., 2010. Usage of parental leave by fathers in Norway’,. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 30(5/6), pp. 313-325,.

O’Brien, M. & Moss, P., 2010. “Fathers, Work and Family Policies in Europe”. New York Wiley, pp. 551-577..

Rege, M. & Solli, I., 2013. ‘The Impact of Paternity Leave on Fathers' Future Earnings’.. Demography, , 50(6), pp. 2255-2277. .

Tanaka, S. & Waldfogel, J., 2007. Effects of Parental Leave and Work Hours on Fathers’ Involvement with their Babies: Evidence from the Millennium Cohort Study”. Community, Work and Family , 10(4), pp. 409-426.

November 23, 2022

Government Family

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Policy Motivation Parents

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