Despite fathers taking on a more active and nurturing role, it usually women who take maternity leave to stay with the child for the first period of the newborn’s life? Although the number of Canadian fathers receiving paid paternal leave has increased to 20% in 2006, it is still low compared to Nordic countries - Sweden (90%), Norway (89%) and Iceland (84%) (Marshall, 2014). The big question remains: Why are so few Canadian fathers taking paternal leaves?
What do you think of when you hear the word caregiver? Perhaps a parent taking care of their newborn? A child or an elderly individual taking care of their spouse? Apersonal support worker or nurse? It is a new reality that caregiving has become much broader in our society than it used to be. Caregivers are all around us – even in the workplace – and are likely some people you wouldn’t expect. Informal caregiving refers to unpaid care provided to a family member or friend due to chronic or long-term illness, disability and/or aging. The Canadian government estimates that there are 6.1 million employed Canadians who are informal caregivers to a family member or a friend – that’s 35% of the Canadian workforce! The Conference Board of Canada estimates informal caregiving costs employers $1.3 billions dollars in lost productivity a year!