How Do Employers Respond to a Policy Reform of Parental Leave? A Focus on Fathers and Companies From Economy Sectors With Traditionally Lower Take-Up Rates

Anissa Amjahad, Marie Valentova, Roland Maas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper explores the perceptions and management practices regarding parental leave among a specific group of employers: those likely to have low parental leave take-up among staff. We conducted qualitative interviews with employers in 18 Luxembourg-based companies of sizes and economy sectors where low take-up is most prevalent. We explored how leave requests, employees’ absences and their return after parental leave are managed and how employers deal with the recent reform of parental leave policy. The results show that employers try to minimize the cost of fathers’ absence from work by negotiating over the timing of take-up and the form of leave to be taken. Parental leave is preferred over other work–life balance measures because it is perceived as a short-term and timely arrangement during a career. In this particular group of employers, parental leave is also viewed as more compatible with work and organization processes than other measures.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Marie Valentova disclosed receipt of the following support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: FNR CORE 2016 C16/SC/11324101/ PARENT – Evaluation of parental leave in Luxembourg, focus on couples’ strategies and the role of workplace characteristics supported by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR).


  • employers
  • fathers
  • human resource management
  • parental leave
  • work–life balance

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