“The [fourth] model is the valued care model and includes Denmark, Finland, and Sweden, with Sweden ranking as the most progressive. The governments of these countries are strongly supportive of male and female participation in the workplace and at home. In Denmark, working parents have access to two types of subsidized leaves: parental leave (a family entitlement of 14 weeks, 16 weeks if father takes at least two weeks), and child care leave (an individual entitlement of 26 weeks). Both leaves are paid, at about 60% of usual wages. In 1999, Denmark gave fathers an incentive to take parental leave by offering families two extra weeks if couples shared leave. Sweden is the most radical of all nations and emphasizes gender equality in the workplace and in the family by providing several policies such as individualized taxation, equal employment legislation, good quality childcare that is also subsidized, and finally, mandated parental leave for both parents. Fathers who take leave are not stigmatized and perceived as being less professional in the workplace. In Sweden, 450 days of paid leave are available to parents at the birth or adoption of a child. During these thirteen months, employees receive 80% of their salary up to a certain income level and are paid at a low fixed rate for the remaining three months. Parents have flexibility regarding whether they want to take full, half, or quarter days of leave and regardless of the organization’s size or situation, the parental leave is mandatory. Since fathers do take leave, employers are adapting by rethinking how work can be done by allowing telecommuting, helping male and female workers stay involved in work even while on leave. Employers are coming to recognize that parents who are able to take care of family responsibilities make better workers and now even offer fathers economic incentives as encouragement to take leave.” (Komarraju)

Komarraju, M. (2006). Work and family: Cross-national comparisons, a Sloan Work and Family Encyclopedia entry. Retrieved May 11, 2007, from the Sloan Work and Family Research Network website: