Although more new fathers are taking time off to bond with
junior, more than two-thirds returned to work within a month of
the child's birth or adoption while nearly half of Moms are away
from the office for between one and four years.
one-third, or 35 per cent, of parents did not take any sort of
pause from working, either paid or unpaid. Of this group, 40 per
cent said they could not afford to stop working while 37 per
cent cited working conditions that did not allow them to take
the time off. A quarter of parents who kept working did so
because they “did not want to compromise their career” while
just 3.5 per cent said their employer rejected their request.
The Statscan study noted that 25 to 35 are the prime years
for establishing a successful career, the years when
professional efforts tend to be most profitable. “Thus,
professional demands may be incompatible with the task of caring
for a child.”
The types of leaves taken by parents varied between the
genders. Four-fifths of new moms took maternity leave between
2001 and 2006, compared with only 9 per cent of men who took
paternity leave. Instead of paternity or parental leaves,
fathers usually took a few days of vacation or other paid - or
unpaid - personal leave.
“This may be because some organizations still show resistance
towards requests from young fathers who want to get more
involved in their new family,” the study said.
Making the leap back into the work force was tougher for
women, with 62 per cent of Moms saying the transition between
leave and work was stressful. One-fifth described it as “very”
On the other hand, roughly two-thirds of fathers rated the
transition was not too stressful, or not stressful at all.
“Despite numerous measures implemented by government to
support parents, concerns persist, particularly with regard to
accommodating professional and family schedules,” the Statscan
Nearly half of all new parents said finding a work-family
balance was a main source of stress once they were back at the
office, followed by 20 per cent who cited family-related
concerns and 12 per cent who cited child care.
However, nearly one-quarter of new parents who took leave did
not return to work, the report found. More than half of these
parents said that decision was driven by a desire to raise their
child themselves while others indicated that they stayed at home
because of the next pregnancy. Daycare proved to be another
major obstacle, with nearly a quarter of parents saying that
child care was too expensive to be worth the cost.
More than 3.2 million Canadians, about 12 per cent of the
population, either had a child or adopted one between 2001 and