The Millennium Mums project is a national study of working mothers who had babies in October and November 2011. The project examines their experiences with leave from their employer and decisions about paid employment, as well as family life, health and wellbeing around the birth of their baby.

The study began in 2012, funded by the then Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs as part of the evaluation of the introduction of the Paid Parental leave scheme. Through additional funding from the Australian Research Council and continued funding from the Department of Social Services the study will continue on an annual basis until 2015.

The goal of the extension of the Millennium Mums project is to study changes in mother’s work and family lives during their child’s preschool years. 


    • Generate a new, longitudinal data source of sufficient size and scale
    • Assess which current Australian workplace flexibility arrangements and employer provided leave provisions affects mothers’ workforce engagement and how they do so
    • Assess how the availability of different types of childcare arrangements, and mothers’ use of them, affects their workforce engagement
    • Assess how the quality of jobs, job characteristics and employment relationships (for jobs held before and after the birth) affect mothers’ workforce engagement
    • Assess how these effects vary across time
    • Assess how these effects vary across important social groups defined by human capital, family economic circumstances, and marital status

    Project team 

    Project details

    Duration: Sept 2013 - Sept 2016

    Partners: Australian Department of Social Services

    Funding: The Australian Research Council; Australian Department of Social Services

    Contact: Professor Janeen Baxter (