From Iceland — Just In Time For The Holidays, Iceland Lengthens Parental Leave To 12 Months

Just In Time For The Holidays, Iceland Lengthens Parental Leave To 12 Months

Published December 18, 2019

Photo by
Kenny Louie/Wikimedia Commons

On the last day before beginning their winter vacation, Parliament passed a law extending parental leave from nine months to a whole year.

By the former law, first established in 2000, parental leave was divided up between the parents: three months for one parent, three months for the other, and an additional three months to share between them. By the new law, each parent now gets five months each, with an additional two months to share. This law goes applies to any child born or adopted on or after January 1, 2020.

Part of the reasoning behind the bill is that municipalities around the country have been having difficulties bridging the gap between when parental leaves end and when slots in playschool open up. The bill would help bridge that gap by giving these facilities more time to make room for new children.

The idea has come up before. The Social Democrats submitted a similar last year, and the Social Democrat-led government of Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir introduced such legislation at the end of 2012. However, the government which followed, comprised of the Independence Party and the Progressives, killed the effort in 2013.

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