Over the last ten years, the amount of parental allowance received by Swedish dads has grown slowly but surely, and today fathers receive almost 30 percent of the benefits allocated to each set of parents, figures from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency show.
Swedish couples receive 480 days of parental leave per child, paid at about 80 percent of their salary. Parents are encouraged to split the leave as equally as possible, so the principle is that the total number is split in half but either parent can 'donate' part of their paid leave to their co-parents. At least 90 days, however, must be used by each parent.
Ahead of Father's Day, celebrated in Sweden on Sunday, the latest figures show a step in the right direction, but are still a long way from the goal of total equality.
"The fact that dads today don't even take out half of the days they are entitled to shows that, even in Sweden, there is a long way to equal use of parental benefits," said Niklas Löfgren, family economist at the Social Insurance Agency, in a press release.
According to the latest statistics, fathers receive an average of 27.6 percent of the parental benefits, while mothers receive the remaining 72.4 percent. Ten years ago, those figures were 20.9 percent and 79.1 percent respectively, meaning the share used by dads has increased by almost a third (33.2 percent) over that period.
"We see a steady increase in the proportion of days of parental allowance paid out to dads. Few countries in the world can boast corresponding gender distribution when it comes to taking out parental insurance," Niklas Löfgren said.
Lomma is the Swedish municipality in the kingdom where dads take the highest proportion of parental leave - 33.2 percent of the total - while Dals-Ed is the lowest with 19.5 percent.