Sweden is known for having one of the most generous parental leave policies in Europe and the World.
In 2016, Sweden’s parental leave is a staggering 480 days which can be shared amongst both parents as they chose. In addition, parents can still receive up to 80% of their original salary for 390 days, and then a flat rate after that. It’s no wonder that many move to Sweden to have kids and build a family and this parental leave can be taken per child until the child turns 8 years old.
How Parent Leave works in Sweden
Parental leave in Sweden (called föräldraledighet) is paid for by the social security system, (Försäkringskassan) paid for by Sweden’s higher tax rate, and is a good example of how higher taxes can actually give more back to society in the long run. It goes without saying that you should ideally look to get settled and registered in Sweden with all of the relevant authorities before building a family here. However, Sweden and Försäkringskassan do make special exceptions for those coming to Sweden late in their pregnancy. For more information, please speak with Försäkringskassan.
Compare this to countries like the USA which gives a very basic, unpaid parental leave programme in an effort to get parents back to work as soon as possible. NPR has a great map showing the different maternity leave policies around the world, and Sweden and Norway are the top 2.
Whilst most parents in Sweden take their leave fairly equally, it is also possible for one parent to take the majority of the parental leave, up to a maximum of 420 days. The other 60 are typically reserved for the other parent unless you are a single parent.
How much you will actually get from the state varies between couples. This is known for being very complicated and blurry, so speak with your local Försäkringskassan office for more detail and a clearer number. James Savage at The Local has a basic calculation on how much you can expect to receive (80% of your monthly salary, up to a maximum of c.30,000 kr. per month)
Have you had kids in Sweden or taken parental leave here? Let us know your experiences in the comments below.