Online Program

Caring for elderly parents: Evaluating family leave laws in comparative perspective

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 1:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Y. Tony Yang, ScD, LLM, MPH, Department of Health Administration and Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Gilbert Gimm, PhD, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
As the baby boomer generation ages, the need for laws to enhance quality of life for the elderly and meet the increasing demand for family caregivers will continue to grow. This paper reviews the national family leave laws of nine major OECD countries (Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, and United Kingdom) and provides a state-by-state analysis within the U.S. We find that the U.S. has the least generous family leave laws among the nine high-income countries. With the exception of two U.S. states (California and New Jersey), U.S. federal Family Medical Leave Act provides no right to paid family leave for eldercare. We survey the current evidence from the literature on how paid leave can impact family caregivers' employment and health outcomes, gender equality and economic arguments for and against such laws. We argue that a generous and flexible family leave law, financed through social insurance, would not only be more equitable, but also financially sustainable.

Learning Areas:

Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the current empirical evidence on how more generous laws impact family caregivers' employment and health outcomes, as well as other arguments for and against such laws.

Keyword(s): Aging, Health Law

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-principal of multiple funded grants relted to health law and policy. I hold graduate degrees in Public Health (Harvard), Health Policy (Harvard), and Law (University of Pennsylvania). Before joining George Mason, I was a post-doctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I was the 2009-2010 CDC-NCHS/AcademyHealth Health Policy Fellow.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.