Swedish dads may well be the luckiest dads of them all. They are already offered – and are encouraged to take – at least two months of paid paternity leave after their babies are born. But if you think that’s good, wait till you hear what’s in store for them now.
The Swedish government has confirmed it is set to increase paid paternity leave for new fathers by another month.
Sweden already gives new parents a combined total of 480 days (16 months) paid leave, which can be taken by either mum or dad. But 60 days of that is reserved for dads – and if they don’t use it, they lose it.
The country also has an equality bonus – the more days shared between parents, the higher the bonus (it can reach up to 1500 Euros per couple). In 2012, Swedish dads took nearly a quarter of all parental leave offered by the government.
Social security minister Annika Strandhall tells Radio Sweden the increase to 60 days is a way to improve gender equality.
The program has sparked a project called Swedish Dads, created by photographer Johan Bavman when he took his paternity leave. He documents fathers and their children during parental leave, hoping to encourage other dads to take theirs too.
The government will bring the proposed new law to parliament later this year, but it’s expected to pass without any trouble.
The Independent reports Sweden is fourth in the World Economic Forum’s ranking of countries with the greatest levels of gender equality. Australia is ranked 24th.