Parental leave

Last changed: 06 May 2024

If you want to take parental leave for a longer period, you must apply two months in advance. Applications for pregnancy benefits, parental benefits and temporary parental benefits should always be sent to Försäkringskassan (the Swedish Social Insurance Agency).

Right to parental leave

You may take full leave until your child turns 18 months. You may also reduce your working hours by up to 25% until the child turns 8 or completes their first year of school. If SLU approves your application, you can work reduced hours until the end of the school year your child turns 12. You must work at least 40%.


You must apply for parental leave no later than 2 months before the leave commences, or as soon as possible.

Registering parental leave via Primula web

There are several alternatives to choose from. It is important that the employee chooses the right form of leave. For all parental leave, the child's personal identification number and a part-time working schedule must be included in the message box.

Scheduling leave

The employee must consult their employer about when to schedule leave. Leave should be scheduled in a way that does negatively affect work, provided this does not disadvantage the employee.

If the employer decides to schedule leave contrary to the employee's wishes, the employer must inform the employee and their local staff organisation of their decision. Where possible, this must be done no later than two weeks prior to the start of the leave.

Three periods 

Leave under the Parental Leave Act may either be scheduled as consecutive leave or divided into a maximum of three periods each calendar year. This does not apply to leave with temporary parental benefit to care for a child, or leave for parental classes. The employer may allow additional periods to be taken. A period is defined as a period of consecutive parental leave; it may be a day, a month or another period of time. The period is interrupted if the scope of leave changes or if the employee applies for another type of leave.

Pregnancy benefit

You may apply for a transfer if you are pregnant and have a physically demanding job or work at a computer screen. You must apply at least one month in advance. If SLU cannot transfer you, you have the right to leave with full salary deduction. You may receive pregnancy benefit from Försäkringskassan for a maximum of 50 days, starting from the 60th day at the earliest up until the 11th day before your due date.

Parental benefit

When you have a baby or adopt a child, you have the right to leave with full salary deduction for the days you receive parental benefit from Försäkringskassan, currently a maximum of 480 days. You can take your leave starting from the 60th day (applies to the mother only) before the due date and up until the child turns 8 or completes the first year of school. If the child was born on 1 January 2014 or later, you may receive parental benefit up until the day the child turns 12 or completes the fifth year of school.

Parental pay

As of 1 April 2007, there is a local agreement on parental pay. Parental pay comprises 10% of the current daily salary. Parental pay will be paid out for a period of 360 days. If both parents are employed at SLU, they both have the right to a maximum 360 days of parental pay per child. The 360 days referred to in the agreement are in fact 360 'occasions', in the sense that a half day counts as one occasion. All consecutive days taken count, which means public holidays also count.

  • Parental pay is not linked to the parental benefit received from Försäkringskassan.
  • No copies of payment records are sent to the Payroll Unit.
  • Parental pay is paid on a monthly basis in relation to the scope stipulated in the approved application for leave.

Withdrawing parental leave

According to the Parental Leave Act, an employee may interrupt their leave and return to work to work the same number of hours as before their leave. The employee must inform the employer of their intention to return to work as soon as possible. If parental leave was originally intended to last one month or more, the employer may postpone the employee's return to work by up to a month after being notified by the employee.

Annual leave and parental leave

Annual leave should be planned in connection with agreeing on parental leave. At least four weeks' annual leave per calendar year must be used, even if the employee intends to be on parental leave throughout the year. Annual leave may not be combined with payments from Försäkringskassan. For an employee, all parental leave with parental benefit supplement and parental leave with parental pay qualify them for holiday pay.

Sickness during parental leave

If a parent who is receiving parental benefit becomes so ill that they cannot take care of the child, Försäkringskassan may decide to switch the employee from parental benefit to sickness benefit. The Swedish Social Insurance Agency pays out sickness benefits while you are on parental leave. Therefore, you do not need to change your cause of absence in Primula. You can read more here.

Temporary parental benefit

Leave to care for a sick child (vab)

You may receive temporary parental benefit from Försäkringskassan for a maximum of 120 days a year to take care of a sick child. You may take 60 days if the ordinary caregiver or the child is ill. The remaining 60 days can only be taken if the child is ill. You may also receive temporary parental benefit if the child needs to see a doctor or similar, or if the other parent has a doctor’s appointment with a sibling. In general, the child needs to be under 12 years of age. Temporary parental benefit is calculated per child and calendar year. You are on leave with full salary deduction. You can transfer your days of temporary parental benefit to another person, e.g. a grandparent or other relative.

10 days upon the birth of a child

The parent not giving birth may stay at home with full salary deduction for 10 workdays. This applies if you receive temporary parental benefit from Försäkringskassan. Your 10 days need to be used within 60 days of the time the child came home.

Contact days in accordance with LSS

You may take 10 contact days per child and year for children who are covered by the Act Concerning Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments (LSS). You may take the days from the time of the child’s birth until the child turns 16.