“Gender-neutral, job-protected leaves from employment that usually follow maternity leaves and permit either men or women to share the leave or choose which of them will use it. If there is no specified maternity leave, a portion of these leaves is usually reserved for women, to ensure a period of physical convalescence and recovery after childbirth. Recently, in some countries, some portion of the parental leave is reserved for fathers, on a “use it or lose it” basis, to create an incentive for fathers to play a more active parenting role. In some countries, there are supplementary leaves which are unpaid.”

The Clearinghouse on International Developments in Child, Youth & Family Policies. (2002). Mother’s day: More than candy and flowers, working parents need time off. Issue Brief, Spring 2002. Retrieved May 10, 2006, from