Swedish Fathers to Get an Extra Month of Paid Leave—U.S. Moms and Dads Still Get Zero
The Swedish government submitted a proposal this week to add an extra month of paid leave specifically for fathers. While the plan needs approval from parliament, officials are confident the legislation will pass, CNN reports.
Sweden grants 16 months of paid leave to be split between both parents, with 60 days dedicated to the father. Beginning in 2016, dads would get an additional month to take off. Each parent would stay home during the first three months after birth and then split up the remaining 10 months however they chose. During this leave, parents would receive 80 percent of their salary.
Sweden’s program is one of the most generous, but other countries, including France, Finland, and Germany, also offer paid family leave for more than a year.
Sweden extending paid PATERNITY leave to 3 months! U.S.? Can we extend paid MATERNITY leave to more than ZERO MONTHS??— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) May 30, 2015
Of 185 countries, only the U.S. and Papua New Guinea have no mandated paid parental leave. The U.S. allows 12 weeks of unpaid leave during which parents cannot be fired for staying home to care for a newborn. Three states—California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island—have paid parental leave programs.
More than 80 percent of American mothers return to work within a month of giving birth. When a mother returns to work before the first 12 weeks are up, the child is less likely to be breast-fed and receive immunizations on time and more likely to have behavioral problems, according to several studies.
Championing Sweden’s progress, several Americans have asked U.S. officials to follow the European country’s lead.
Sweden is proposing a third month of paid PATERNITY leave and the U.S. doesn't even have paid maternity leave. Chew on that a bit.— Rachel (@srtaraquelita) May 30, 2015