A Cross-Cultural Study of Parental Leave on Quality of Life between Finland, Japan, and The United States
Managing a work-home balance is a daunting task for any parent. It is often difficult to take leave from work to care for one’s family due to financial barriers, which simultaneously poses a threat to family development. Although many countries have parental leave policies in place to account for this, effectiveness of these policies vary by country. This study aims to find to what extent parental leave has an impact on the quality of life. In this study, quality of life was investigated by the rank of the country on the Happiness Index and through the lens of achieving sustainable family development, which was subsequently described to be reflected by a country’s governmental resources provided during parental leave, as well as the country’s Gender Inequality Index. Through a cross-cultural review of literature, it was found that there seems to be an indirect, complex correlation of parental leave to the quality of life, and external factors such as sociocultural ideals, gender inequality, and varying workplace practices have greater significance on quality of life.