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The Paternity Leave Act in Iceland: implications for gender equality in the labour market


  • Bjorn Thor Arnarson
  • Aparna Mitra


The Icelandic Act on Maternity/Paternity and Parental Leave (2000) introduced some major changes. The leave was extended from 6 to 9 months, and parents who were active in the labour market were paid 80% of their average salaries during the leave. The 9 months' leave was distributed so that mothers could take 3 months' leave, fathers could take 3 months' leave and the remaining 3 months could be shared by the mother or father in any manner that the parents saw fit. Using information and data from the Althingi and Statice, this article discusses the new legislation and the implications of such a policy in reducing gender inequality in the Icelandic labour market.

Suggested Citation

  • Bjorn Thor Arnarson & Aparna Mitra, 2010. "The Paternity Leave Act in Iceland: implications for gender equality in the labour market," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(7), pages 677-680.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:17:y:2010:i:7:p:677-680
    DOI: 10.1080/13504850802297830

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    Cited by:

    1. Amin,Mohammad & Islam,Asif Mohammed & Sakhonchik,Alena, 2016. "Does paternity leave matter for female employment in developing economies ? evidence from firm data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7588, The World Bank.
    2. Collette O¡¯Connor & Dr Angela Wright, 2013. "Female Career Progression & Maternity Leave: An Irish Exploration," Business and Economic Research, Macrothink Institute, vol. 3(1), pages 322-343, June.

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