Swedish liberals eyeing third daddy month
by FFE EU News staff
In a bid to close the gender gap in terms of wages and pensions in Sweden, the Liberal People’s Party (Folkpartiet) are eyeing a third paternity month of parental benefit. The meeting on Sunday was also attended by minister for gender equality Maria Arnholm.
Swedish working parents are entitled to 16 months parental leave that can be taken by either mothers or fathers. Women, however claim 75% of this leave.
The minister said in a press release “Women have lower wages and lower pensions. We know this because they take the main responsibility for home and family. Increasing gender equality in parental leave means we are also increasing opportunities for higher wages and higher pensions.”
She added that fathers are only taking up 20 per cent of total parental leave, which is “far too slow, a third month is an important gender reform.”
Fathers were obligated to take one month leave in 1995. A second mandatory month was introduced in 2002 to balance out leave among parents. Parental leave can be used any time until the child turns 8 years old.
Statistics by the social insurance office (Försäkringskassan) revealed that a third of those on parental leave in August were taken by fathers, compared to only 20 per cent of those who took leave on December.
However, men’s use of paternity leave has grown to almost a quarter because of the mandatory 2 months off.