These Are the Countries -- and Companies -- With the Best Paternity Leave Policies

These Are the Countries -- and Companies -- With the Best Paternity Leave Policies
Image credit: smwright | Flickr

Sweden, which is currently experimenting with a 30-hour workweek in its second-biggest city of Gothenburg, is taking even greater strides to stabilize work-life balances among employed parents.

In 2016, under a use-or-lose program, the Swedish government will allocate 3 months of paid paternity leave for new fathers -- up from the current 2-month minimum. All told, Sweden offers mothers and fathers -- including both single and adoptive parents -- 16 months of paid leave, which can be divvied up between spouses and used at any time before a child’s eighth birthday. (Parents receive 80 percent of their salary on leave, capped at about $4,500 per month.)

On the heels of this announcement came word that U.S. investment banking giant Goldman Sachs had doubled its paid parental leave for fathers and other non-primary caregivers from 2 weeks to 4. Goldman Sachs offers 16 weeks of paid maternity leave.

Related: Sweden's Six-Hour Workday Experiment Officially Kicks Off Tomorrow

While this might sound like a blip compared to Sweden’s staggering leave policies, it’s a figure that makes Goldman Sachs the 32nd best workplace in the U.S. for new dads, according to a list compiled by parenting resource website Fatherly.

The U.S. company with the best policies for new fathers? Google, which offers 7 weeks of paid leave, discounts for nanny placement agencies and a $500 check for “baby bonding.” Facebook isn’t far behind at number 2, offering 17 weeks of paid paternity leave plus a $4,000 new child benefit as well as subsidized daycare.

Though father-friendly policies may abound at companies like Bank of America, Patagonia and financial services firm State Street (check out Fatherly’s full list here,) U.S. law currently offers no across-the-board paid parental leave policies.

This is in stark contrast to other developed countries like Iceland (13 weeks of paid paternity leave,) Norway (10 weeks,) Spain (4 weeks,) Finland (18 days,) and Slovenia (15 days.) For a list of the best and worst countries for parental leave, check out this infographic courtesy of professional advice provider Citation. 

Related: Parental Employment Benefits Around the World (Infographic)

Correction: This story initially stated that Swedish fathers would be required to take 3 months of paid paternity leave. The 3 months are allocated to new fathers under a use-or-lose policy.

Edition: October 2016

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