Cleavages in Politics and Society

Paternity leave in judiciary and prosecution

Project Management:   Dr. Birgitt Haller
Implementation:   Mag. Dr. Helga Amesberger
  Dr. Birgitt Haller
  Justina Kaiser MA
Funded by:   Federal Ministry of Finance
Concluded in:   December 2017

The starting point for the conceptualization of this study was an article on paternity leave in the public service. The daily newspaper Der Standard published on July 18, 2016: "Public service: More paternity leaves, part–time being a women´s issue". In the public service, the number of paternity leaves has increased: in 2010, only about 17 per cent of parental leaves had been taken by men, whereas in 2014 and 2015, their share had risen to more than 31 percent. The five ministries with the highest number of staff – Education and Women´s Affairs, Interior, National Defence and Sports, Justice, and Finances – were analysed in detail: From 2010 until 2015, in the Ministries of National Defence, Interior, and Finances, the share of paternity leaves had increased, in the Ministries of Education and Justice it had decreased.

As a higher share of paternity leaves is desirable for reasons of gender equality, the project aimed to analyse the reasons for and against taking paternity leave. The applied mix of quantitative and qualitative methods included an online questionnaire addressed to all judges and state prosecutors, interviews with experts in the Ministry of Justice as well as other ministries, and interviews with parenting fathers.