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When Dads Get Paternity Leave
They are affectionately called "latte dads" -- so named because they can be seen around major cities with a stroller in one hand and a coffee in the other. Current policy in Sweden is for dads to have at least two month for paternity leave. However, the current debate is for an extra month. Either way, this policy leaves many across the country jealous of Sweden.
Fathers in Sweden can currently take leave 240 days with a government-backed paycheck. The Wall Street Journal reports, "Even if a father decides to take a more modest leave than allowed, he must take at least two months before the child is 8 years old to receive the government benefits."
The Wall Street Journal points out that with the current policy, the Swedish government pays 80% of a parent's salary—up to a cap of about $65,000—for 13 months. Additionally, one parent can sign over all but two of these months to the other.
It's interesting to note from the Journal that before one dad took leave, he thought: "You get up, you eat—how hard could it be?" This dad had planned to get a lot of things done during his paid leave. "You're pretty much switched on all day, except for a brief nap midday," this dad said. "And then there was the food. One week she liked eggs, the next day she didn't…It's really hard to schedule life with an 11-month baby."
One dad interviewed by the Wall Street Journal had planned on "spending his six-month leave drinking coffee and writing a script while taking breaks in the park to watch his daughter play." However, he reported "I'd be lucky to have 30 minutes for myself a day. The rest was just endless cleaning, feeding, changing and picking up." The Wall Street Journal reports that his dad, "two weeks into it, he wondered if he was going to last the entire leave"
Read the full Wall Street Journal article and see parental leave around the world.
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