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Employment and your rights during the parental leave

Posted at — Apr 18, 2021

Note: this post assumes full-time permanent employment.

Notifying the employer

If you’re going on a parental leave and give your employer two months notice, the leave request must be accepted. If you give less notice, it’s up to the employer to decide.

This applies only to plannable parental leave though, which the mother can start taking two months prior to the estimated birth date. She can of course be off work when the birth takes place. The father has the right to take ten days (they are called just that, tio dagarna) in connection to the birth. They don’t have to be taken all at once or as full days, so you can do e.g. 20 half-days instead.

If you want to come back from the leave earlier than planned, the notice period is one month (or less, but only with the agreement from the employer).

Splitting up the parental leave into ~3 chunks during a year is usually fine, while booking more than that might be up to the employer’s approval (check the contract and the collective agreement).

Ending employment while on parental leave

A person can be fired while on parental leave with the same reasons as when they aren’t (e.g. because of reorganization of the company that led to layoffs). But the notice period will start ticking down from the day when the parental leave was supposed to end.

A worse case is getting fired after you have booked a parental leave but before it has started. In this case, the days of parental leave are counted into the notice period. This is also true for quitting the job yourself.


It is prohibited to fire somebody because of their pregnancy and/or parental leave, that would be considered discrimination.

Collective agreements also often demand that the employees on parental leave are not excluded from the yearly salary reviews.

When you come back from a parental leave, you’re supposed to get the same position and responsibilities. If the company has reorganized during your absence and is offering you a different position, it might be necessary to involve the trade union in the negotiations.

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