The Native: Parental Leave

2012-05-07. Published in Language & Culture
by Emma

According to the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, the child has the rights to both its parents. Sweden signed the convention in 1990 and today Swedish parents have better possibilities to parental leave than parents in many other countries around the world.

Supported by the Law of Parental Leave (Föräldraledighetslagen), swedish mothers and fathers can stay at home with their child from the date of birth and for up to 18 months. This right for parental leave is consistent independent of parents’ allowance.

One of the parents also has the right to shorten the job week with up to 25 % until the child turns 8 years old or finishes the first school year. There is also a parental insurance, which aims to help all parents combine the work and the parenthood.

60 days are reserved for each parent, and the remaining 420 days can be split between the parents in whatever way they find appropriate. This is a subject for political debate. Some of the parties think that it would be appropriate to have a law that regulates an equal sharing of the parental leave between the mother and the father, while other parties think that it should be up to each and everyone individually to decide how they wish to share the parental leave. For many families it is an economic matter, since it is more economically beneficial to let the parent with the lower income stay at home for a longer period.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? How is it in your home countries?

/Emma, team 2011