A father feeds his son. Photo: Hasse Holmberg / Scanpix.
congress also decides to expand action committee

Social Democrats reach compromise on parental leave

Sweden's largest opposition party, the left-leaning Social Democrats, reached a compromise on its policy regarding parental leave, as it continued its party congress Saturday, according to Swedish Radio News. It also decided on new additions to the party's action committee.

Currently, in Sweden, parents are entitled to a total of 13 months of parental leave at the maximum level of compensation. Of those, two are reserved for the parent who takes the least amount of leave, usually the father.

The Social Democratic Women in Sweden and the Swedish Trade Union Confederation had both called for making parental leave more equal by reserving one-third of it (a little more than four months) for each partner and the last third for the family to decide how to distribute.

However, the party's congress compromised on achieving a more equal distribution by deciding to allocate another month to the parent who takes less leave.

Many people believe that a more equal distribution of parental leave time will result in greater gender equality, especially in the labor force.

On Saturday, the congress also made a change to its action committee, adding an extra deputy seat, for a total of eight deputee members.

Party secretary Carin Jämtin denies this was a way to solve a conflict about who should get a place in the committee. "It's a way to solve a problem with the work load," she tells news agency TT.

The congress decided to give MP Morgan Johansson, of Skåne, an ordinary seat in the party's action committee.

New deputees are Therese Guovelin, vice chair in the hotel and restaurant workers union; Ardalan Shekarabi, who led the party's crisis commission after its poor performance during the 2010 election; and MP Urban Ahlin from Skaraborg.

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