Maternity leave take-up in UK academia. Why are they hurrying back?

Joanna Clifton-Sprigg, Eleonora Fichera, Simona Bejenariu Tudor

Research output: Working paper / PreprintWorking paper

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In this paper we explore the effects of terms of maternity leave policy on the duration of leave taken by mothers, focusing on the higher education sector in the United Kingdom, where there is a wide variation in financial coverage of the packages offered by employers. We use unique newly collected individual level data for over 13,000 academic and professional services staff at Higher Education Institutions (HEI) in the UK and add to it data on university characteristics from the Higher Education Statistics Agency and area-level characteristics from the Office for National Statistics. Using an instrumental variable approach, we find that on average academics take 2 additional weeks of leave for every additional week of full pay provided within the maternity leave package, when professional services staff take 2.7 additional weeks.
Academics respond positively to the financial terms of the policy in departments with a lower proportion of teaching-only contracts, higher proportion of female employees and in institutions with above median generosity of the maternity leave package. These results may suggest
the culture, research and teaching environment within
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBath, UK
PublisherDepartment of Economics, University of Bath
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameBath Economics Research Papers
PublisherUniversity of Bath


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