This is what it looks like when dads get parental leave

Many moons ago I did a political internship at Parliament House. I wrote a paper for Lindsay Tanner, then Member for Melbourne, looking at the worth of paid paternal leave.

Martin Gagner: “I feel guilty about not having been at home with Matilda (4) as much as I am now with Valdemar (1). I worry that my relationship with her will be weaker in the future.”

It was all about comparing the Australian situation with Sweden where half of the very generous paid parental leave provisions must/can only be taken by the father. Today, 480 days of paid leave can be taken by either parent, of which 60 must be taken by the father or else the paid days are lost. So there is a clear disincentive for the father not to take the leave. Yet, still, only 12 per cent of Swedish dads take up the offer.

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