Definition: Maternity or parental leave
Parental leave can be taken either by the mother or the father and is an interruption of work in case of childbirth or to bring up a child of young age. It should correspond to the period when parents receive "parental leave benefits". Any other leave taken for reasons of child-bearing or rearing should not be considered as parental leave.
Eurostat, "Labour force survey: Methods and definitions, 1998 Edition", Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 1999, p.65