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I LOVE THIS COUNTRY
In Sweden, the government pays you up to a year and a half after the birth of a child at between 60-80% of your pay. When Karin was born I wasn't yet working so I was only (only!) getting 60 kronor a day which was the minimum one can get when one has no other salary (it's since gone up). I started working when Karin was 7 months old. You are able to use the paid maternity leave days until the child turns 8 at which time you lose them. You can also give them, or at least a portion of them, to the other parent, if you want.

The problem is that for most people, taking a large chunk of days AFTER you have started working means a big paycut since you go down to 60 or 80% of your paycheck, so if you didn't use them when your child was an infant, it's often very hard to face that decrease in pay later. Which is why I've always thought I'd have to lose my paid maternity leave days without using them.

Then I found out that you can claim Saturday and Sunday as paid maternity leave IF you also take either Friday or Monday off. So the money you get paid for the 2 weekend days nearly makes up for the money you LOSE on the actual workday you take. Still with me?

I called the State insurance agency today and found out I have 149 paid maternity days left. That means I can take Friday off for 49 weeks and with the 2 additional days, get paid for it at very close to my regular salary. Karin is only in daycare for 1 more year, so this is the ideal time to do this, plus it gets me out of the office 1 day a week :) I've cleared everything with my boss and...

...starting September 3rd, I have 3-day weekends every week for nearly a year...PAID!

*bounces happily around the room*
 ecstatic
mood: ecstatic
music: Happy Mondays—Step On


Comments

Hurrah! That is so amazing! In Canada we are allowed one year maternity leave receiving about 55% of your pay and! Considering the huge cost of daycare for a baby (between $1000. and $1400. per month) 55% of your pay isn't bad and your job is guaranteed when you are ready to go to work. Fathers are allowed to take part of that time if they want. When Daisy was born it was only six months leave and I had been working in a low paying office job, but it was better than nothing. However, we started a business just as she was born and so I took Daisy to work with me within the week of her birth. Peh! When she was 15 months old, we moved the business home so she didn't have to be in daycare and I was able to take her to playgroups and library readings, etc.
All in all, not nearly as generous as the Swedish system, but hugely better than the American one.

Definitely better than the American one! I think ours is 60%, but most companies make up the difference to at least 80%, although not all of them do. We can share the days with the father as well.

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