Introduction to GBA+

Parental leave evolution: An example of a flexible option

Photograph of a child in a wash tub.

This type of option:

  • Provides flexibility to respond simultaneously to the needs of diverse population groups; and
  • Balances competing government priorities with diverse population needs.

One of the most effective examples of a flexible option that responds to diversity in Canada is the evolution of parental leave. Based on societal norms, attitudes and expectations, it went through multiple stages of integration, beginning as maternity leave and now extending to paternal, parental and adoption leaves.