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Swedish dads spending more time at home: study

Swedish dads spending more time at home: study

Published: 21 Jan 2010 11:06 GMT+01:00
Updated: 21 Jan 2010 11:06 GMT+01:00

Dads in Sweden are taking greater advantage of the country’s generous parental leave, a new report shows.

New figures from Sweden’s Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) reveal that fathers accounted for a total of 22.3 percent of all leave days taken by Swedish parents in 2009, an all-time high, the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper reports.

Measured in days, dads in Sweden took out an average of 34 parental leave days last year, compared to only 24 days in 2000.

“The increase in the days taken by men has primarily occurred when it comes to younger children, those who haven’t yet turned two,” the agency’s Niklas Löfgren told DN.

Parents of children in Sweden have the right to take a total of 480 calendar days of parental leave per child up until the child's eighth birthday.

The social insurance agency pays parental leave benefits equivalent to about 80 percent wages, up to salaries of 33,000 kronor per month.

In 2002, legislation was passed doubling the number of days specified for use by each parent from 30 to 60 days.

Thus, if either parent takes less than 60 days of parental leave, the days are lost.

While the remaining 360 days can be divided between parents as they wish, there are tax benefits for families who split the days more equally among each parent.

Parents with sole custody of a child, on the other hand, have the right to take out all 480 days.

Psychology professor Philip Hwang at the University of Gothenburg said his research indicates that employers have also become more open to having men take parental leave.

In 1994, three of four employers were positive toward fathers taking parental leave. In 2006, there was a dramatic change and now there are really no employers who speak negatively about fathers being at home,” he told DN.

Related links:

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:10 January 21, 2010 by anidia
Jesus, it's one of blessed country for parents who have children.
15:10 January 21, 2010 by Great Scott
Now that's a good way to hid unemployment and make a government look good, well done Sweden.
21:10 January 21, 2010 by spy
The 'Viking gene' was bred out of the Swedish men years ago - leaving them as subservient, nappy changing sissies.
22:30 January 21, 2010 by fridayz
Spy,

Do you have a mother? Is she a subservient nappy changing or your nappy was changed automatically?

I think Sweden must be proud of such statistics, it is a lesson to learn for other countries.
00:05 January 22, 2010 by eagleh
They first force the dads to stay home with child and then say that the studies show that Swedish dads stay for with child :-). It is very funny. The parental leave is about one year and before parents could choose who stays home and who stays with child now they have made it obligatory for men to stay at least two months of this one year with the child. So if dads really liked to stay home with childs why they have made it obligatory???
02:11 January 22, 2010 by raffe
@eagleh

Read the article again please. It's not obligatory for men to take 60 days. You can choose not to take them and as a result you just lose them. So no harm done for those of you who do not feel it is important to spend some real quality time and bond with your child.

@spy

Please retreat to the cave you came from and spare us from a comment like yours. It's just plain silly...
08:52 January 22, 2010 by cogito
"Do you have a mother? Is she a subservient nappy changing or your nappy was changed automatically?"

Uh, my dad changed our nappies without being subsidized by the taxpayer to do it.

Why should the rest of us pay for these slackers? Let them do without the new TV or the daily lattes or the trip to Thailand and pay for their own leave. They could also use their vacation days as paternal leave.

Oh. but then they might not find it so important for them to "bond" with their spring.
14:56 January 22, 2010 by Thebinary1
Very nice to see taxpayer money bing spent responsibly like this.

Infact - if the Bank Bailout money was poured into this I think we would see another baby-boom generation which eases off the dependency on immigration. Something the Koreans have a hard time achieving - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8469532.stm
23:30 January 23, 2010 by Malmoman
I am a nappy changing husband of a Swede and I hardly consider myself a wussy. I have been in a few fights, I like beer, and I even cuss from time to time.

Seriously though it does feel too good to be true. Sometimes I wonder who is working in Sweden. Seems like every week someone we know is on vacation, mammaledighet, sick leave, etc...

There are just so many ways in Sweden not to work.
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