Sweden Wants More Maternity Leave for Fathers

It’s news to me that Sweden offers new fathers maternity leave for as long as 240 days with a paycheck backed by the government. What’s even more of a surprise to me is that the law has been in effect since 1974 so that fathers and mothers can share bonding with their children during their early years. If a father doesn’t want to take the leave from work, he has to take at least two months off in order to receive that government check.

This news takes us to today, where Sweden’s government is asking if that is enough time off and the debate is on. The issues arising from the suggestion of an additional month of leave for fathers is that they should not be forced to take it, it should not be mandatory.

State-sponsored parental leave is arguably more generous in Sweden than anywhere else. Parents are entitled to a total of 480 days paid leave per child, with both mothers and fathers entitled and encouraged to share the leave. The leave can be taken at any time until the child reaches the age of seven.

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