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Men Taking Up Career Leave: An Opportunity for a Better Work and Family Life Balance?

  • JESSIE VANDEWEYER (a1) and IGNACE GLORIEUX (a2)

Abstract

In 2004, 9 per cent of female employees took advantage of the system of ‘career break’ or ‘time credit’ in Flanders, compared to only 3 per cent of male workers. Although the number of men taking a career break is increasing, they remain a small group. In this article the time use of men interrupting their careers full-time or part-time is compared to that of full-time working men, using representative time use data from 2004. Analyses show that a career break does not imply a reduced workload. Half of the men interrupting their career full-time do so to try out another job. Men who take part-time leave are mainly motivated by their desire for a better work and family life balance. About 80 per cent of the time they gain by working on a part-time basis is allocated to household and childcare activities. This suggests that encouraging men to work fewer hours could well be the best policy for achieving gender equality.

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Men Taking Up Career Leave: An Opportunity for a Better Work and Family Life Balance?

  • JESSIE VANDEWEYER (a1) and IGNACE GLORIEUX (a2)

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