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Limitations of GDP
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Domains and indicators
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Subjective well-being. The prolonged duration of parental leave and the limited provision of childcare supports establish barriers to employment for many mothers. Parental leave can last up to 3 years compared with 1. The evidence from other countries is that a wider provision of formal childcare services is a more effective tool for helping parents with work and family commitments and thus raise birth rates. The Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance provides a free care and entertainment service aimed at children of its employees from 4 to 12 years old.
The services are located at the Ministry Headquarters in Rome and in nearby external sports facilities during summer. It is operational on weekdays when there is no school. In the morning before starting work, employees can leave their children in care and collect them at lunch time.
If their working hours involve an afternoon, they can also leave them after lunch and collect them in the evening. The care activities are managed by qualified childcare staff.
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Also the work attendance rate of employees who use the service is on average higher than that of other employees with children of the same age. Parents in Japan find it difficult to combine work and family commitments. Hence, young Japanese postpone marriage, delay parenthood and often have fewer children than intended. Japan is among the "lowest-low" fertility countries with a fertility rate of 1. There has been a small rebound since , but nevertheless the population has started to decline. Japanese social policy has introduced several measures to reduce barriers to both parenting and employment.
However, despite these efforts, policies such as childcare can be further developed. Increasing childcare provision and reducing private costs of out-of-school services are both crucial for parental employment. Japanese public spending on childcare and preschool services is the fourth lowest among OECD countries. Childcare constraints persist and enrolment rates for children under 3 at Japanese workplace practices make it difficult for parents to combine work and family life. After the high cost of education, many educated Japanese women first want to establish regular employment before having children.
Furthermore, once Japanese women leave the labour force to care for children, they often end up in non-regular employment, which is often low paid, part-time, and temporary. Parents who wish to get back to work need to have better opportunities to re-enter regular employment, otherwise, those who can afford to stay at home do so rather than return to a low-quality job. The result is fewer babies and lower female employment levels than the OECD average, at a time when Japan needs more working women to replace the aging working age population.
High quality childcare and childcare leave encourage better work-life balance and labour market participation of women. The number of available and affordable childcare options is also being increased. The number of public childcare places will be increased by 0. After-school childcare centres will provide care for another 0.
The government has also established a new certification system for employers who create an employment environment that is favourable to raising children and encourages better work-life balance. Like many countries, Korea has struggled with a declining fertility rate putting stress on the future economy. The Korean government has supported a number of initiatives since the early s so that parents are not forced to choose between work and family commitments.
For example, formal childcare has been made a priority, first increasing and expanding the subsidy in , and then dropping the income-test in and further extending coverage to children aged years. These changes created a universal programme of public assistance for centre-based childcare. Overall, public spending on early childhood education and care increased from 0.
Employed parents are entitled to three types of leave, including maternity leave, paternity leave and parental leave as well as financial support for maternity and parental leave. The extension of duration and increase in payment rates for maternity and parental leave have increased take-up of maternity leave in the private sector fivefold between and Mexico could strengthen its policies to enhance the well-being of families and children.
Public support in family benefits and services are key for mobilising female employment, reducing poverty risks, promoting child development and improving gender equity. Almost 1 in 4 Mexican children lived in poor households in This conditional cash transfer programme has come under criticism in recent years for encouraging mothers to assume traditional caregiver roles, as mothers are responsible for ensuring the family's compliance with health and educational regulations, but recent changes to the programme have attempted to promote mothers' participation in paid work.
Child-related leave entitlements are limited. Five days of paternity leave was recently introduced and funded by employers. Efforts to increase childcare Programa de Estancias Infantiles para Madres Trabajadoras and pre-school enrolment rates by implementing compulsory pre-school education have translated into higher participation rates.
But more can be done, as childcare enrolment rates among under-3's remain considerably low 8.
Time poverty and gender roles present significant barriers to women's participation in the labour market. At home, Mexican women spend 4 hours more per day on unpaid care and housework than men.