We may all be aware of Swedens high income taxes but do we know that good share of it goes towards making sure people don’t struggle ones they have a family. As a result, Sweden is often held up as one of the most family-friendly countries in the world.
Still doubtful? Then check out these 5 reasons why Sweden is one of the best places in the world to be a parent.
1. Parental leave
Swedish parental leave is famous (and greatly envied) around the world.
Parents are entitled to 480 days of paid parental leave when a child is either born or adopted. For 390 of those days, compensation is income-based. For the remaining 90 days, compensation is set at 180 kronor per day.
But here’s where the deal gets even better.
As part of the country’s push to increase gender equality, the parental leave days can be shared between each parent as they see fit — the idea being that each parent should take 50 percent. What’s more, 90 of those days are reserved exclusively for either parent and if not used, can’t be transferred to the other partner.
If you need further proof that both parents are taking advantage of parental leave, just look around any given playground on a Tuesday afternoon where you’ll spot half a dozen “latte pappas” congregated around the swings.
“Is Hampus sick today?”
“No. He won’t be in today, he’s vabbing.”
….I’m sorry, What?
Vård av Barn (VAB) — or “vabbing” when used as a verb — is when a parent needs to stay at home and care for a sick child.
While in some countries you might have to take this as unpaid leave, in Sweden the state will pay you temporary parental leave benefits equalling 80 percent of your wage. Giving parents a total VAB of 120 days per year, per child.
3. Employment protection
Pregnant and seeking employement? No stress.
While companies in some countries may be hesitant to employ a “mother to be”, Swedish law prohibits employers from discriminating against pregnant job applicants.
It’s also against the law to lay off someone due to pregnancy, so expectant mums don’t need to worry about losing their job.
4. Free Kindergarden
In Sweden, children aged a year or older with parents who are employed or studying may attend preschool for the full day, more or less free of charge. Parents of young children elsewhere in the world may be even more envious of this perk than the lengthy parental leave!
And there’s more benefits.
Three hours a day of public preschool attendance is free from the autumn term of the year your child celebrates its third birthday. Following that, Sweden has a maximum-fee policy to ensure that everyone can afford childcare.
Fees are income-based with no charge for low-income families and costs capped at 1,287 kronor (around $152) for higher earning parents.
5. Shorter working days
Another thing that makes your day-to-day easier as a parent in Sweden is the choice to work less hours.
Parents of children under the age of eight who haven’t finished their first day of school are entitled to shorter working days. Up to 25 percent shorter, in fact, meaning you can work six hours a day instead of eight.
It means no missing school pickups or after school activities, as well as getting to spend more time with your kids in the evening. a privilege and something working parents around the world often struggle with.
Thank you for reading! If you would like to read another Blog Post – Klick here – Topic: Stockholm Winter Walk – Staying active during the cold days
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