Sweden’s ‘groundbreaking’ new law allows grandparents to take paid parental leave

The Scandinavian country has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to family-friendly law-making

Grandparent with their grandchild
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Swedish government have just introduced a 'groundbreaking’ new law that will allow grandparents to take paid parental leave from work to care for new family additions. 

With the UK's general election fast approaching, many people's minds have turned to the policies proposed by the three major political parties and the information parents need to know about the election - but it's Sweden's government who has taken the news by storm this week as they've announced a 'groundbreaking' new law that's set to massively benefit families across their country. 

50 years after they became the first country to introduce paid parental leave for fathers, Sweden have jumped ahead of the curve and introduced paid parental leave for grandparents so they can help out the new parents as they adjust to family life. 

It's a law that, while groundbreaking, just makes sense. Grandparents have become an increasingly active branch of the family tree, stepping in for many parents to help look after grandkids as the soaring cost of childcare, rising nursery costs, and often un-equal co-parenting arrangements lead to struggles. 

Under the new law, which was launched on 1 July, grandparents can get up to three months paid leave to take care of their grandchildren while they're in their first year of life. To do this, parents must transfer some of their parental leave allowance to the child's grandparents. 

The rule may seem harsh, taking a parent's leave in favour of a grandparents if they want it, but in Sweden parents get a paid parental benefit for 480 days, or about 16 months, per child. 

The new rules mean that a parent couple can transfer up to 45 days leave to a grandparent, while a a single parent can transfer 90 days. 

This new law joins a vast list of family-orientated rules implemented by the Swedish government, a government long known for protecting and adding to its outstanding social welfare system. With their commitment to family-friendly law-making, we can only hope that other countries take note. 

In related family news, the Twins Trust launches their Manifesto for Multiples, calling on political parties to address the ‘systemic inequality’ faced by families with twins or more. Plus, parents of teens experience ‘less tolerance of family duties’ from employers, despite their older kids needing them more than ever. And, why are sextortion criminals targeting boys? An expert shares how they’re being singled out.

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.