The New York Times reports on Sweden's paternity leave policies.
From trendy central Stockholm to this village in the rugged forest
south of the Arctic Circle, 85 percent of Swedish fathers take parental
leave. Those who don’t face questions from family, friends and
colleagues. As other countries still tinker with maternity leave and
women’s rights, Sweden may be a glimpse of the future.
Companies have come to expect employees to take leave irrespective of
gender, and not to penalize fathers at promotion time. Women’s
paychecks are benefiting and the shift in fathers’ roles is perceived
as playing a part in lower divorce rates and increasing joint custody
of children. [emphasis added]
Did you check out those benefits in this side graphic? The state pays parents 80 percent of their salary for 13 months up to a ceiling of $3,300 a month.
You know what we get here? Six weeks at 50 percent pay and another six week of unpaid time off. That's just for moms.
The Swedes do pay a lot of taxes. According to the New York Times, "Taxes account for 47 percent of gross domestic product, compared with 27 percent in the United States and 40 percent in the European Union overall." However, they have a relatively low deficit and a high productivity levels. Charges that these family-friendly policies were going to destroy their economy seem greatly exaggerated.
Families like these policy, so much that companies are offering more generous family-friendly policies in order to attract new talent.