New fathers in Sweden can currently take ten days paid leave after their children are born. Social Democrat Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson told Aftonbladet that fathers should instead be available for the mothers of their children for several weeks after they give birth.
He said that there was an increased need for fathers to be around now that more mothers are giving birth by caesarian section and were therefore unable to lift heavy objects for some time. He also pointed to the fact that mothers go home earlier from hospital than in the past.
The proposals would also allow more time for father-child bonding in the early days, argues Thorwaldsson.
“The main point of the proposal is that newborn babies should get early access to both its mother and its father,” said Thorwaldsson to Aftonbladet.
If the new proposals are adopted by the government, it will mean that that fathers can take one month’s leave during the first three months of their child’s life. Fathers would not be forced to take all the leave at once; rather they would be allowed to spread it over the whole period.
The one month post-natal leave would be in addition to the paternal leave to which fathers are already entitled. Fathers are currently entitled to take up to 180 days leave at eighty percent of their full salary during their child’s first eight years of life. Thorwaldsson has suggested in this report that parents are given longer leave, but that they are forced to take it in the first years.
Thorwaldsson will hand the government his full report on the future of parental leave in September.
Image on previous page – Photographer: Per Dahl / Copyright: Johnér Bildbyrå / www.imagebank.sweden.se