Millennium Mums Final Report                                2017


Paid Parental Leave Evaluation: Final Report            2014


Paid Parental Leave Evaluation: Phase 3 Report        2014


Paid Parental Leave Evaluation: Phase 2 Report        2013


Paid Parental Leave Evaluation: Phase 1 Report        2012 





Timeframe of the Millennium Mums survey project

The project is currently funded until 2015, over that time you will be contacted to participate in three surveys, which we refer to as “Waves” of data collection. See the Survey List for details of the surveys.

Important dates:

- The first two waves of data collection were conducted in 2012.

- The third wave of data collection has been finished by March 2013.

- The fourth wave of data collection has been conducted between October and December 2014.

- The fifth wave of data collection has been conducted between October and December 2015.

- We are currently in the process of seeking more funding to continue the project in 2017.


During the course of the project we will periodically contact you with project updates via newsletters.  Please follow the links below to view a copy of all newsletters to date:

Millennium Mums  Newsletter, April 2016

Millennium Mums  Newsletter, April 2015

Millennium Mums  Newsletter, April 2014

Millennium Mums  Newsletter, August 2013





Research activities associated with Millennium Mums 

The team who are leading the Millennium Mums Project are practising academics and experts in their fields.  An essential part of their role on the project is to communicate their findings with other researchers, policy makers and practitioners in the field.  This is done by attending and presenting at conferences and writing journal articles.

See the list below of research activities associated with the Millennium Mums project.


Latest workshop 

Amy Tsai, Belinda Hewitt, Bill Martin,  & Wojtek Tomaszewski.     The relationship between job quality and mothers mental health: the role of work family strain.


Ning Xiang, Maria Zadoroznyj, Bill Martin & Wojtek Tomaszewski. The effect of timing of return to work and working hours on breastfeeding duration in Australia


Belinda Hewitt, Leah Ruppanner & David Maume. All I want for Christmas is sleep!


Bill Martin. Flexible emmployment and childcare - some preliminary results from Millennium Mums





Coles, L., Whitehouse, G., Hewitt, B., Yerkes, M., & Baird, M. (2017). Australian fathers’ use of leave for infant care: insights from a longitudinal study of mothers. Presented at the Association of Industrial Relations Academics in Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ) conference, Canberra, 8-10 February 2017. Presented by Laetitia Coles





Work and Family Researchers Network Conference, Washington D.C., June 2016

Individual paper:

Time Pressure and Mothers Health and Wellbeing During the Preschool Years 

Belinda Hewitt, Mara A. Yerkes and Lyndall Strazdins


Title: Impacts of a National Paid Parental Scheme: The Australian Experience

On 1 January, 2011, Australia’s first national paid parental leave scheme commenced operations, leaving the United States as the only OECD country without a national scheme providing paid leave for working parents following a birth. This symposium presents major findings from an independent four year evaluation of the scheme commissioned by the Australian government. Central features of the Australian scheme include:

  • Eligible parents receive up to 18 weeks of ‘Parental Leave Pay’ (PLP) at a flat-rate of the national minimum wage.

  • The scheme is non-contributory.

  • Eligible parents may continue to receive employer-provided paid parental leave in addition to PLP

  • In most cases, PLP is paid through employers.

 The focus of this symposium is on the scheme’s impact on:

  •  Mothers’ leave taking and labour force participation following a birth;

  •  Mothers’ health and well-being;

  •  Family life;

  • Employer parental leave provisions

The symposium consists of four papers and comment from a distinguished discussant, Professor Janet Gornick.

Presider: Professor Gillian Whitehouse

The Impact of Paid Parental Leave on Labour Supply and Employment Outcomes

Barbara Broadway, Guyonne Kalb, Duncan McVicar and Bill Martin


The Benefits of Paid Maternity Leave for Mothers' post-partum Health and Wellbeing: Evidence From an Australian Evaluation 

Belinda Hewitt, Lyndall Strazdins and Bill Martin


The impact of paid leave on gender equality in working families – lived experience and gender relations

Bill Martin, Maria Zadoroznyj and Gillian Whitehouse


Employer-paid maternity leave post-parental leave legislation: influences on private sector provisions

Mara A. Yerkes, Marian Baird and Gillian Whitehouse



  • Gillian Whitehouse, Belinda Hewitt, & Bill Martin “Employment transitions following the birth of a child: analysing Australian mothers’ career trajectories”, presented by Gillian Whitehouse at Work and Family Researchers Network conference, New York City,  19-21 June 2014, and the XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology, Yokohama, Japan, 13-19 July 2014; and presented by Belinda Hewitt at TASA conference, Adelaide, 24-27 November, 2014

The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) conference, November 2014

Challenging Identities, Institutions and Communities
November, 201424 – 27
University of South Australia, Adelaide

UQ researchers presented a plenary meeting titled:

Motherhood, work and career – new research on Australian mothers’ experiences

Brief Description of the Theme

Motherhood, employment and careers are now integral to most Australian women’s lives. Three quarters of Australian mothers return to paid work within a year of giving birth, and almost all do so eventually. This plenary presents new research on some of the most important experiences and effects of motherhood in relation to women’s employment and careers. One focus is on mothers’ return to work after a birth. What is the effect of employer paid parental leave on when mothers return to work? (This is a particularly important issue as debate rages about the current government’s proposed new national paid parental leave scheme.) How do mothers’ employment conditions and the timing of their return to work affect their ability to ‘work around the baby’, especially with respect to breastfeeding? A second focus is on women’s careers after childbirth. What are the immediate effects of maternity leave on mothers’ employment – do they go back to better or worse jobs, and what affects this? What are the longer-term effects of motherhood on women’s careers – do they vary depending on the kinds of careers mothers follow; does motherhood ever enhance career prospects?


Bill Martin (UQ),

Belinda Hewitt (UQ),

Maria Zadoroznyj (UQ),

Wojtek Tomaszewski (UQ)



Community Work and Family conference (CWF), July 2013

The Community Work and Family conference is an international conference held every 2 years.  It focuses on how the rapid changes and transitions in society present challenges and opportunities for families, communities and organisations, with a special focus on work, families and communities in a globalising world.  In 2013 the conference was hosted by the University of Sydney, Australia and researchers from our team presented the following papers:



Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference (AIFS), July 2012

The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) is the Australian Government's key research body in the area of family wellbeing and sponsors AIFS conference every two or three years since 1983. Researchers from our team presented following papers at this conference:

  • Jane Dickenson, Katy Smith, & Erica Sparke.   Australia's national paid parental leave scheme
  • Mara Yerkes, Janeen Baxter, Bill Martin, & Judy Rose.   The Introduction of paid parental leave in Australia: Gender equity and work-family policy
  • Gillian Whitehouse, Belinda Hewitt, Bill Martin, & Marian Baird.   Trends in paid parental leave usage in Australia: 2005-2010
  • Bill Martin, Belinda Hewitt, & Janeen Baxter.     Employer-paid maternity leave and women's return to work in Australia: A snapshot prior to PPL


The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) conference, November 2012

The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) is the peak professional association for Australian sociologists.  TASA Annual Conference is the major academic activity each year.  In 2012 the TASA conference was hosted by the University of Queensland and researchers from our team presented the following papers:

  • Jane Dickenson et al.     Australia’s national paid parental leave scheme
  • Gillian Whitehouse et al.   Trends in paid parental leave usage in Australia: 2005-2010
  • Marian Baird et Al.    Employer response to the new Paid Parental Leave Scheme in Australia
  • Bill Martin et al.     Employer paid maternity leave and women’s return to work in Australia
  • Mara Yerkes et al.    The Introduction of Paid Parental Leave in Australia: Gender Equity and Work-Family Policy


Journal articles

Whitehouse, G., Hewitt, B., Martin, B. & Baird, M. 2013 “Employer-paid Maternity Leave in Australia: A Comparison of Uptake and Duration in 2005 and 2010”.  Australian Journal of Labour Economics: 16, 3, 311-327