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Liberals to push extra 'daddy month' on Swedes

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Photo: Heiko Junge/TT
15:28 CEST+02:00
Sweden's equality minister said on Monday that she wants to introduce a compulsory third month of paternal leave for fathers, even though only a third of Swedes support the idea.
Equality Minister Maria Arnholm said on Monday that it was high time Sweden introduced a third month of paternal leave for fathers, an extra 30 days than the current two-month period.
 
The change would kick off after the September elections providing the ruling government remains in power, which seems unlikely according to recent polls. Arnholm and the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet), however, are not backed by the other parties in the governing alliance. 
 
The Christian Democrats, in fact, don't even want to have two months specifically dedicated to fathers.
 
"I think it's good if paternity leave is divided between mothers and fathers," party head Göran Hägglund told the TT news agency. "But it's not up to us politicians to decide that." 
 
During a speech in Almedalen on Monday, Arnholm even acknowledged the fact that there was a "resistance among the voters", two thirds of whom are against the idea.
 
In Sweden, parents are given 16 months of paid paternity leave per child, and are paid around 80 percent of their usual salary. In 2012, fathers used up 24 percent of the total paternity leave taken. 

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Fathers were obligated to take one month of this leave in 1995, and a second mandatory month for dads was introduced in 2002. Parental leave can be used any time up until the child turns eight years old.
 
Arnholm first raised the concept of the third month in September last year.

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