Support for the idea of a Basic Income paid to every eligible adult and child is gaining across the developed world, though it remains a controversial and largely untested proposal. It has been defined as an income paid by a political community to all its members on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement, and would likely have significant implications for all socially valuable activities including those without direct economic benefit; caring is one such activity. Basic Income might replace other benefits, some of which are multi-dimensional in the way that they support citizens, going beyond the financial support that a Basic Income offers. One example is Parental Leave, which can have multiple aims, including gender equality in care as well as in the labour market. Whilst advocates argue that Basic Income would alleviate child and maternal poverty, critics are concerned that it would further entrench rather than undermine a gendered division of paid and unpaid labour. This paper considers the gendered implications of a Basic Income, in particular with regards to early parenthood. It concludes with a discussion of whether or not Basic income could replace Parental Leave policy or whether Parental Leave would still be needed as a complementary policy.

Professor Alison Koslowski

Co-Editor, Families, Relationships and Societies


2017 edition of the 'International Review of Leave Policies and Research' now available at http://www.leavenetwork.org/lp_and_r_reports/