Maternity Leave Policy for Woman Workforces in Thailand's Formal Sector

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Satayu Pattarakijkusol


Thailand's total fertility rate has been below the replacement level since the 1990s. The Thai womens’ workforce, in the formal sectors, faces challenges finding a balance between employment and bearing children. Employers also tend to have unfavorable attitudes toward women who have children, because this affects them financially. The maternity leave policy remains ineffective, which results in the total fertility rate continuing to decline. Policymakers might consider also giving parental leave to the fathers of newborn babies. Maternity leave should be divided into three parts: pre-natal, maternity, and post-maternity leave, during which time women should still continue to be paid so that the expenses of rearing children can be offset. In addition, breastfeeding facilities should be introduced at workplaces to facilitiate women’s ability to rear their children at work. Finally, having children should not serve as an obstacle to women’s career progression. 


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