The Family Policy in Sweden


The family policy in Sweden is an important social and economic policy that is applicable to all permanent residents. It is strongly interconnected with labor market policy. Its primary goal is to encourage all individuals to be employed and self-supporting. Family benefits and services include job-protected leave, after-school programs, and day care centers. However, the policy also includes provisions to support cohabitation. Let’s take a look at some of the key aspects of the policy.

Immigrant mothers use more parental leave

In the first year of parental leave, immigrant mothers use the parental leave benefit more often than native mothers. However, the differences diminish as the period of parental leave progresses, and after controlling for labour-market activity, immigrant mothers use their parental leave benefits more similar to native mothers. This trend may be due to differences in work and life patterns, but the research remains an important insight into the family policy in Sweden.

Native mothers use less parental leave

Studies have shown that parental leave policies improve maternal and child health, but there is a dearth of evidence on how they affect the mental health of fathers. It is not clear whether the reforms have any impact on the mental health of fathers, but there is a tendency for disadvantaged groups to use less parental leave than majority groups. The Father’s quota implemented in Sweden in 1995 was the focus of a study that assessed the policy’s effect on mental health.

Working parents in Sweden have job-protected leave

Swedish social policy has long recognized the need to balance family and career, allowing both parents to take time off for their children. In addition to job-protected leave, Swedish social insurance agencies provide compensation for sick days and maternity leave, and the majority of healthcare is tax-subsidized. In Sweden, nursing rooms are available in most public places, and many restaurants have high chairs and changing tables in their bathrooms.

Cohabitation is common in Sweden

In Sweden, cohabitation is widely accepted and legal. The law recognizes cohabitation as virtually equivalent to marriage. The Swedish word for cohabitee is sambo, a phrase reminiscent of the Common Law husband-wife relationship. Cohabitation in Sweden is considered to be normal, even though the term is not used in the legal sense. In some areas, however, such as the workplace, cohabitation is illegal.

Social insurance covers everyone in Sweden

The Swedish health system is designed to cover everyone who lives or works in the country. In case of sickness or injury, residents are entitled to free dental and medical care. The Swedish Social Insurance Agency (SSSA) also pays out sick benefits to all residents, up to 80% of their salary, subject to certain limits. If you live in Sweden and wish to use the SSSA’s services, you can apply for a card and get the coverage you need.

Parental leave benefits are not based on citizenship

During the first eight months after a child’s birth, parents can take up to 480 days of paid parental leave. This time is reserved for the mother, and her partner cannot take the remaining 90 days. For those who do not work for the first eight months, parents will receive a low, flat rate of twenty Euros per day. The flat rate was six Euros for most of the 1990s, but increased step-by-step after 2002.