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'Parental equality bonus has no effect': report

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11:54 CET+01:00
The introduction of a parental leave gender-equity bonus on July 1st 2008 has had no effect on how parents elect to divide up time spent caring for their children, a new report from the Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) shows.

The bonus, which provides for a maximum pay out of 13,500 kronor ($1,900) on a sliding scale to parents who share their parental leave was introduced on July 1st 2008. The new report shows that the first group of parents that qualified for the bonus have paid it little heed.

"The rules for the equality bonus are complicated, and the money is not paid out in connection with the use of the bonus days, but a year later. It is not a great deal of money either. These can be factors which mean that the bonus has had no effect," said Mats Jansson at the agency.

The analysis shows that within both control groups studied - 18 months before and after the introduction of the bonus - men used 44 days of parental leave, while women used 249-250.

The Moderate Party announced in January that the the form of the system was due to be revised but the party declared that it was unwilling to bow to opposition demands to earmark further months to each parent.

Of the current 390 days of income-linked parental leave available, 60 are reserved for the exclusive use of the father, and 60 for the mother with the remainder freely disposed. In addition a further 90 days at nominal remuneration are available for parents to use.

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