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Title: Exploring paternity and parental leave policies from the perspective of fathers in Malta
Authors: Briffa, Romina
Keywords: Parental leave -- Malta
Stay-at-home fathers -- Malta
Fathers -- Malta
Father and child -- Malta
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: Briffa, R. (2019). Exploring paternity and parental leave policies from the perspective of fathers in Malta (Bachelor’s dissertation).
Abstract: The aim of this qualitative study, which builds around Acker’s theoretical framework of the “ideal worker” (1990), sets out to explore the perception of Maltese fathers with regards to the uptake of paternity and parental leave and how these impact on their career prospects. Furthermore, the study seeks to assess under which conditions fathers would be more likely to take up this type of leave and what may stop them from doing so. In order to reach the objective of this study, ten semi-structured interviews were held with Maltese fathers with young children aged between 0-10. The data collected was analysed using the Thematic Analysis approach (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Most of the participants showed very little knowledge on paternal and parental policy measures and whilst the mentality of Maltese fathers is gradually changing, traditional gender roles are still firmly entrenched within the psyche of Maltese fathers. This means that child rearing is still seen as being largely the responsibility of the mother, with the father only giving his “support” when required. At the same time, the fathers indicated that ‘maternal gatekeeping’ often left them with few options in relation to care and the uptake of parental leave, in that the mothers wanted to do so themselves. The study showed that some fathers feared that if they take parental leave this would have negative repercussions on their career, in that organisations still consider parental leave as an entitlement which should be taken by mothers. Thus, fathers who opt to take up parental leave would be seen as deviant or unreliable and not in line with the ‘ideal worker’ ideology. Most of the fathers indicated that they would be more interested in taking paternity and parental leave if this is well compensated without having to forego their salary – although there were concerns that the financial burdens should not be placed on organisations. This research showed that the uptake of paternity and parental leave is a multifaceted issue that needs to be tackled at the personal, the family and at the national level. This suggest that there is still much to be done to increase the father’s involvement in sharing the care responsibilities more equally with the mother, and before such measures can effectively gain traction with Maltese fathers.
Description: B.WORK&H.R.(HONS)
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - CenLS - 2019

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