From Iceland — Changes To Parental Leave Law Proposed

Changes To Parental Leave Law Proposed

Published September 25, 2020

Photo by
Kenny Louie/Wikimedia Commons

According to a new draft law on maternity and paternity leave, reported on by Vísir this morning, the length of time new parents have the right to take off work is going to be extended.

Currently, parental leave is ten months: this is made up by four months leave for each parent, and the remaining two months can be split between the parents as they see fit. The right to parental leave also expires when the child reaches the age of two.

The new bill that is currently being discussed would have parental leave extended to twelve months at the end of next year. Each parent will receive six months leave, though one month will be transferable between parents.

However, the right to parent leave will then expire when the child reaches eighteen months, rather than two years. The bill aims to encourage both parents to fulfil their obligations towards family life, as well as to increase employment and equalise parents’ opportunities in the labour market.

The bill has received some criticism, however, with Halldóra Mogensen, MP for the Pirate Party, condemning it on Facebook as “authoritarianism”, arguing that such decisions should be in the hands of the families themselves. “Were different circumstances examined in this decision-making or should everyone just be pushed into the same box indefinitely?,” she asked.

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