Swedish Dads to Receive Almost 100 Days Paternity Leave


Swedish fathers from next year will receive a third month of paid paternity leave in order to increase gender equality, the Swedish government has announced.

A 16-month parental leave, which can be used anytime up until the child turns eight, is already offered to parents who can share this time between them. Up until now, two of the months have been reserved specifically for fathers.

But under the proposals, both mothers and fathers must take at least three months off, or risk losing these months, meaning that mothers cannot claims the months reserved specifically for fathers.

Swedish parents receive 80% of their salary while on parental leave, reports Swedish news site the Local, which is capped at around €4,000 per month.

A third month "is something we've really looked forward to," Social Security Minister Annika Strandhall told Swedish Radio. "We know that this is a key issue towards attaining greater (gender) equality."

In stark contrast to Sweden's liberal attitudes, the UK only offers fathers two weeks of dedicated paid leave, while the US offers none whatsoever. In Canada, only one in 10 fathers claim paternity leave.

Some 80% of children in Sweden have two working parents, but only around 40% of women work full-time compared to some 75% of men.

The proposal appears to be popular among Swedish men. Close to 90% of Swedish fathers currently take paternity leave, according to the Economist, and since Swedish men started to take more responsibility for child rearing, women have seen both their incomes and levels of self-reported happiness increase.