Sweden’s parental leave is known for being incredibly generous. Parental leave is all tied up in social insurance (called föräldrarpenning) which is managed by Försäkringskassan in Sweden. The state offers couples 480 days in which they can share the majority of them to care for their child whilst receiving a state income in the form of monthly payments. These monthly payments are means tested, i.e the amount of money you receive is dependent on the amount of money you were earning prior to applying for parental leave. But this is where it get’s tricky…

Parental Leave in Sweden is paid for 480 days for one child

  • For 390 of those days the payments are means tested (the sickness benefit level)
  • For 90 of those days the payments are 180sek a day (the minimum level of payment)

Traditionally this is split straight down the middle by the two parents, enabling a one of the two parents to return to work at one time. You can transfer days to and from each other but you must be totally certain of the number of days left at your disposal.

When to take out parental leave

You would imagine that most people take their parental leave benefits out straight away but a lot are much smarter than that. You can take out parental benefit up to and including the day  the child turns 12 years old or when the child finishes form/grade 5 in compulsory school. But after the child has turned 4 years old, you can only save 96 days in total. So, by juggling holidays accrued or only using half the parental leave benefit you could save the parental leave benefits for a rainy day.

How to register for parental leave

To begin the registeration process you first need your personnummer and the child’s personnummer given to you at their birth by the midwife. If you are registering prior to giving birth for medical reasons you can use your maternity certificate.

Register for parental benefits using this page on Föräkringskassan website. The page you will come across is a self-registration page and all in Swedish. It is mind-blowingly difficult to get your head around but with the help of Dr Google translate and some patience you will get there.