Men should have ‘paternity protection’

Men should have 'paternity protection'
Baby. File photo: APA
The results of a study by the EU Commission on equal treatment of men has suggested a kind of "paternity protection" in Austria - similar to the established "maternity protection" which means an employer can’t force a woman to return to work straight after the birth of her child.

The study, which was published on Monday, also criticised the fact that flexible working models aimed at childcare were mostly available in female-dominated sectors. 

Male-dominated sectors such as the building industry had very few options for part-time work. Part-time work models should also be offered for leadership jobs, the study suggested. 

The authors praised Austria's maternity protection, which applies both before and after a child is born. They said it would be a "promising" step if protection also applied to fathers – but only after the birth.

Austrian Minister for Women's Affairs Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek said that she was against gender role assignments in the working world. "Girls and boys should pick jobs that interest them," she said on Monday. "Stereotypes and role assignments are just restrictive."

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