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One in five fathers rejects parental leave: study

TT/Rebecca Martin · 5 Oct 2011, 15:02

Published: 05 Oct 2011 15:02 GMT+02:00

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”The benefits for parents have become more complicated to calculate due to the in-work tax credit and the gender equality bonus. It could be that many fear that they will lose too much money if the dad stays home,” said Niklas Löfgren, financial spokesperson at Försäkringskassan.

Another probable explanation behind the high number of non-claimants could be the differing attitudes towards parental leave among men in Sweden.

The study showed that some 18.2 percent of fathers compared to 1.6 percent of mothers have never claimed any parental leave benefits.

Researches also found a strong link between a lower level of education and the choice not to take out parental leave within the male group.

Among those with only primary education, 46 percent of the men did not take a single day of parental leave, while the corresponding figure among those with a university education of at least two years was about 14 percent.

Very young fathers, very old fathers and fathers who were not born in Sweden were also over-represented among parents who didn't claim any parental leave, according to the study.

46.2 percent of fathers originating in the Middle East, Northern Africa and Turkey, failed to claim any parental leave. Among Swedish-born fathers the corresponding number was 13.2.

However, the study also showed that on the whole, the number of father's taking parental leave is rising. In 2010 fathers in Sweden took out 23 percent of all parental leave. In 2000 this number was 12.4 percent.

The researchers also saw a clear link between the introduction of the months reserved solely for the father/mother and an increase in men claiming parental benefit.

Story continues below…

This scheme was introduced in the middle of the nineties, first with 30 days reserved exclusively for each parent in 1995. From 2002 the number of days was increased to 60 days.

If the development continues, researchers predict that the division of parental leave will be 60 percent claimed by the mothers and 40 percent by the fathers by 2025.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:53 October 5, 2011 by Svensksmith
That is a special time and you don't want to miss it.
16:01 October 5, 2011 by Already in use
One of five fathers in Sweden doesn't speak Swedish and couldn't figure out how to fill out all those damned forms.
16:08 October 5, 2011 by StockholmSam
The uneducated fathers earn much less money and can therefore not afford to take the financial hit of parental leave. The university graduates generally earn more and can afford to take time off. Also, young children usually are the domain of young fathers, men who are trying to climb the ladder at work. To take time off, even in Sweden, can limit opportunities for promotion so critical to a young man's career. On the other hand, I think fathers are more interested in taking time off when the kids are a bit older, say between 4 and 8, because the kids are more interactive. At least, that is why I delayed taking time off with my kids; I wanted to spend time with them when they were old enough to really appreciate it.
17:58 October 5, 2011 by canuk
yes that photo above is really representative of the typical swedish population...
19:55 October 5, 2011 by Abe L
No, they drew the right conclusion for a change. You loose WAY to much money if the highest earner stays home. This just statistically happens to be the dad.

I'm all for this spend time with your newborn stuff, but you shouldn't loose any money over it. And definitely not become unable to afford your regular living expenses.
00:17 October 6, 2011 by boomtown_rat
why not ok to lose some money over it - that time is worth more than a bit of cash
02:48 October 6, 2011 by halvnilsson
As an American, I would give my left nut for just a few days of paternal leave. I would take as much as I could get if I were in Sweden.
07:27 October 6, 2011 by dreddie
@canuk are you saying triplets are not common in sweden?
08:49 October 6, 2011 by lewni
har..har... :P
09:44 October 6, 2011 by eppie

You communist!!! I will inform the CIA off your dangerous and terrorist-like comment.
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