Paid leave to care for sick children – the limitations and opportunities at work. By: Boye, Katarina. 2024. Community, Work & Family. p1-26.

One particularly understudied aspect of the gendered division of work and care is paid leave to care for sick children (CSC). Even though fathers in Sweden take a relatively large share of CSC, fathers still use less leave than mothers. One potential explanation is gender differences in working conditions and income. This study uses high-quality survey data from the Swedish Level-of-Living Survey (LNU) 2000 and 2010 with linked register data to analyse, first, associations between working conditions and income on the one hand and CSC use on the other hand and second, the role working conditions and income play in the gender differences in CSC. The results from a two-part model show that the relatively large gender difference in the likelihood of using CSC is somewhat reduced when controlling for working conditions and income. The relatively small gender difference in the number of CSC days used by CSC users is diminished and rendered statistically non-significant when controlling for working conditions and income. Hence, gender differences in working conditions and income contribute to the gender difference in the number of CSC days used by CSC users, while other explanations need to be found for fathers’ lower likelihood of using any CSC.