The Swedish government submitted a proposal this week to add an extra month of paid leave specifically for fathers. While the plan needs approval from parliament, officials are confident the legislation will pass, CNN reports.
Sweden currently grants 16 months of paid leave to be split between both parents, with 60 days dedicated to the father. Beginning in 2016, dads would get an extra month to take off. Each parent will stay home during the first three months after birth and then split up the remaining 10 months however they choose. During this leave, parents receive 80 percent of their salary.
Sweden’s program is one of the most generous, but other countries, including France, Finland, and Germany, also offer paid family leave for more than a year.
More than 80 percent of American mothers return to work within a month of giving birth. When a mother returns to work before the first 12 weeks are up, the child is less likely to be breast-fed and receive immunizations on time and more likely to have behavioral problems, according to several studies.
While championing Sweden’s progress, several Americans have asked U.S. officials to follow the European country’s lead.