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Not long after the plus on the stick, it's time to start thinking about parental leave. When preschool starts, most people are introduced to VAB. But how do you plan for this time in your life and relationship in terms of gender equality and family finances?
Many parents find parental leave tricky in practical terms, but also how to divide it between them. How you choose to do this is highly individual and there is no given template. However, there are several aspects to consider when planning and it is particularly important to make careful decisions for the family's finances now that we are seeing high inflation and rising interest rates.
Today, it is most common for the woman to stay at home for most of the parental leave and there are interesting statistics showing that in households where the woman earns more than the man, it is usually the woman who stays at home the longest. What you base your decisions on within the family is up to each individual, but when it comes to finances, it can actually be most beneficial to share parental leave equally. This is often the case if you work for an employer who offers parental pay.
Planning your parental leave
As a family, it is good to sit down relatively early and discuss how you want to organize this period of your life together. The family's finances are an important part of this planning, and to make it easier for families, Försäkringskassan has a tool called Föräldrakollen. Here you can fill in the parents' salary and supplements, such as parental pay that the employer pays if you have an agreement with your employer in the collective agreement. In the calculation, you can see the family's total net income per month and thus compare this based on different scenarios that take into account different arrangements for parental leave.
How do you allocate VAB?
Leaving aside the family's finances during the actual period, it is also good to plan ahead. It is not uncommon for women to choose to reduce their working hours and take most of the VAB if you look at the statistics. Something that is good to keep in mind is that in the long term this results in poorer salary development and then also a poorer pension.
Discussing and planning both parental leave and maternity leave carefully is particularly relevant in the current global economic climate. Weighing the pros and cons for the family together can reduce stress if something unforeseen happens. As now, with some expenses rising slightly, it becomes highly relevant to plan for a buffer, your savings account and interest rate increases as part of the equation.
Parental leave in relation to gender equality and the economy
From a gender equality perspective, it can be good to share parental leave equally, and it also gives both parents better conditions to establish a good relationship with their child early on. When both parents combine work and family, the parents' working lives are equally affected in the future. One study has found a pattern that clearly shows less sick leave for women during parental leave when double days are taken at the beginning of the leave.
Being on parental leave obviously has many benefits, which should also be taken into account when planning parental leave. It may feel intuitively right for one parent to take more than the other. There is no shame in arranging this time in the way that feels most right for the family.
At the beginning of the parental leave, it is a good idea to review the insurance needs of the whole family, such as child insurance, which is good to have from the birth of the child. Unforeseen events can occur and affect both the family's finances and quality of life. Länsförsäkringar offers different types of insuranceAmong other things, protection is offered if someone in the family is on sick leave or unemployed, in which case an extra supplement can be much needed. Book a meeting with one of Länsförsäkringar's advisors at your local Länsförsäkringar company and get a needs analysis based on your family's insurance needs.