Sweden moves to extend paid paternity leave for dads

Anders Veide looks on as his friend Set Moklint plays with his son Wilhelm during a paternity leave outing at a park in Stockholm on April 24, 2013.

Story highlights

  • Proposal by Sweden's Left Party is hoping to extended paid paternity leave for fathers
  • If the proposal passes, parliament paternity leave will extend to three months
  • United States still does not offer paid maternity leave

(CNN)The Swedish government is about to take another step toward equalizing parental leave.

The country's Left Party is hoping for more individualized paid time off for new parents, according to Sveriges Radio, Sweden's English radio service.
On Thursday, the government submitted a proposal for extending paid paternity leave to three months.
    It's believed that the proposal has a high probability of passing in Parliament.
    Annika Strandhall, the country's social insurance minister, says it has been 13 years since the second month of paternity leave was introduced.
    The Left Party is reported to be pushing for more equally divided parental leave for moms and dads.
    The United States offers new mothers 12 weeks of protected leave after child birth, according to the Pew Research Center. While leave is required, it is not mandated to be paid leave.
    But of the 38 countries represented in the 2013 Pew study, the United States is the only country to not offer mandatory paid leave for new parents, while Estonia, a smaller country in Eastern Europe, offers almost two years of paid leave. Many of the countries featured in the study, such as France, Germany, Hungary and Finland, offered a median of 13 months of protective leave for new mothers.
    In Sweden, parents are entitled to 480 days of paid parental leave, and now 60 of those days are reserved for the father. Servies Radio reports that in 2012, nearly of quarter of Swedish fathers took their paternity leave.
    Many are reacting positively on social media to Sweden extending their paid paternity leave.