Fathers who do not use parental leave
A register-based analysis of Swedish fathers to children born between 1994 and 2017
Since the mid-1990s, most fathers in Sweden use parental leave, albeit for shorter durations than mothers. In this study we investigate which fathers are non-users, which use less than one month, and whether these groups have changed from the mid-1990s and up to 2017.
The results show that one third of the children born in 2017 have a father who used less than a month of parental leave, which in the Swedish context can be regarded as a very low uptake. However, the proportion of fathers using no days has changed over time. When the first reserved month was introduced, 26 percent of fathers used no days. Among children born in 2017, 18 percent used no days. Also, the proportion of fathers using 1–29 days has changed, from 29 percent for children born in 1995 to 15 percent for children born in 2017.
We also find that the groups most likely not to use any days of parental leave are fathers with a low income, fathers with a low education, self-employed fathers, and fathers not in paid work, fathers working in the private sector, fathers with three or more children, and foreign-born fathers. We also find that the gap in the use of no days between low and high educated fathers has increased over time. The patterns found in fathers’ leave uptake are discussed in relation to the regulatory framework of Swedish parental leave.
This Working Paper is based on the ISF report 2021:12 Pappor som inte använder föräldrapenningen. Öppnas i nytt fönster.