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Transitioning Into and Out of Parental Leave: Recommendations for Three Stages of Support

Lead Researcher and Department
Jenna Hawkins, Departments of Philosophy and Sociology, Memorial University

Collaborators and Students
Dr. John A. Scott, Department of Philosophy, Memorial University, Supervisor

Funding Resources
INTRD Strategic Partnership, Harris Centre

The workforce demographic is changing in Canada and in Newfoundland and Labrador. The population is aging and entering retirement and positions are opening up in the workforce. Women make up almost half of the working population, but their position in the labour force remains inferior to men. Birth rates, nationally and provincially, have been declining for four decades. This study examines the transition stages into and out of parental leave from the perspective of a young woman who has not yet made the decision to have a child. The methodology includes a review of the relevant literature and statistics, consultations with experts in the field and semi-structured interviews with ten participants.

One ready solution to the changing demography and the shortage of labour is to examine the role of women in the labour force, and the corresponding public policy and workplace environments in which they operate. Such an examination leads to public policy and workplace initiative recommendations that aim to ensure a smoother transition into and out of parental leave for working parents. The changes suggested will allow working women to have children without suffering the same significant financial and work-related consequences as they currently do.

The full report can be downloaded from:


Parental leave, Childbearing, Maternity leave, Labour shortage, Population shortage

Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
St. John's

Industry Sectors
Public administration

Thematic Categories
Human Resources (Business)
Social Issues (Community Development)
Labour Market (Labour and Employment)
Demographics (Population)
Women's Issues

Philosophy, Faculty of Arts (STJ)
Sociology, Faculty of Arts (STJ)
Harris Centre (STJ)