In Norway we have a choice between 46 weeks (with 100% pay) or 56 weeks (with 80% pay) parental leave. Six weeks are reserved for the mother, 10 weeks reserved for the father (plus the 2 weeks off they get at the time of the birth), and the rest can be shared. Next year, the fathers 10 weeks will be increased to 12 weeks.
Some fathers, however, feel that they are not able to take this leave, but this very much depends on the type of work he has, e.g. somebody who is paid on commission can hardly afford to take 10 weeks off. Or, for somebody who is running their own company, it might be difficult to take so much time out.
The mother does not have the “luxury” to decide whether or not she can afford to take maternity leave, as she kind of has to take at least some time off, and traditionally it is expected that the takes most of the leave. (more…)