The impact of introducing a national scheme for paid parental leave on maternal mental health outcomes

Abstract Paid maternity leave is an essential component of a progressive society. It can enhance postnatal health, improve mother and child wellbeing, and deliver better labor market outcomes for mothers. We evaluate the impact of the introduction of Australia's national Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme in 2011 and complementary Dad and Partner Pay (DAPP) in 2013 on maternal mental health. Using a sample of 1480 births to eligible, partnered women between 2004 and 2016 and examining a range of mental health outcomes from the Household, Income, andLabour Dynamics in Australia survey, we find depression likelihood reduced significantly in post‐reform years. When focusing on post‐DAPP y...

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