Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre

MenCare: The MenCare Parental Leave Platform

mencare logo2 MenCare is calling on governments and employers to adopt parental leave policies that enable equal parental leave for both parents and are paid, non-transferable and adequate in length. These policies encourage men to take on caregiving responsibilities and also promote greater gender equality in society.

"Leave policies that offer paid, non-transferable leave for men and women help to advance gender equality, social justice, and the well-being of women, children, and men."
Maternity leave is well-recognised and accepted by society, and nearly all countries offer it. Governments and employers need to recognise the importance of new fathers taking parental leave, and allowing them an equal amount of time to bond with; and share the caring responsibilities of their children through the parental leave scheme.

Evidence shows that there are numerous benefits to children with highly involved dads. Engaged dads have a positive impact on the social, behavioural, psychological and cognitive outcomes of children. Research suggests that caregiving and fathering also benefit men themselves as it may improve their mental and physical health.


Currently only 92 countries worldwide have paternal leave, and in nearly half of them it is less than three weeks. These policies will:

  • contribute significantly to the recognition and re-distribution of care work.
  • be the mechanism that can change the gendered dynamics of caregiving at home; and
  • raise the status of caregiving.

MenCare presents 10 ways that they believe will end gender inequality and provide children with the care they need:

  • Equal for women and men: Guaranteed for men and women in equal amounts.
  • Non-transferable between parents: Individual entitlements for each parent offered as "use it or lose it".
  • Paid according to each parent’s salary.
  • Adequate in length for each parent, with a minimum of 16 weeks for each.
  • Offered with job protection.
  • Encouraged and incentivised: Employers, peers and society need to ensure that men and women feel supported to take parental leave.
  • Inclusive for workers of all kinds:  Leave is often designed for and extended to the full-time, formal work force. Leave and other supportive policies should also be available to part-time, seasonal, short-term, or workers under contracts.
  • Combined with subsidised, high-quality childhood education and care, and other policies to ensure equity in all caregiving, particularly in low-income settings.
  • Supportive of diverse caregivers and caregiving.
  • Enshrined and enforced in national law and in international agreements.


Receive Mengage News Updates