Reproductive Health and Work: Different Experiences

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Abstract

Quebec and Denmark passed legislation in 1981 that aims to protect pregnant women and their unborn children from health hazards in the workplace. Finland passed similar legislation in 1991. While these measures have much in common, they are applied in very different ways. Approximately 1% of pregnant working women benefit from a "special maternity leave" in Denmark, compared with 0.1% in Finland, while in Quebec, nearly 40% of working women benefit from preventive reassignment measures during their pregnancies. In this article, we will analyze the reasons for these disparities between rates of utilization in Finland, Denmark, and Quebec in light of the Quebec experience over the last 16 years.

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