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Parental leave; right to work reduced hours?

I want to reduce my working hours from 100% to 80% with the support of the Föräldraledighetslagen (Parental Leave Act). My youngest child is six years old. But I don't have any parental days left and I want to reduce my working hours without any other income. Do I have the right to do this?

Then I also wonder if I can take that leave at the times I want? I would like to "get rid" of one of two work nights a week, but it's difficult for the workplace to resolve... Can I insist on that?


  • Hello and thank you for your message!
    Let's start with the question of whether or not you are entitled to time off.
    Article 7 of The Parental Leave Act states that you are entitled to reduce your working hours by a maximum of 1/4 until the child reaches the age of 8. You may also be entitled to reduce your working hours if your child is older than 8 years old but has not completed his or her first year of school.
    So yes, you are entitled to reduce your working hours from 100% to 80%, even though you have no parental days left.

    The right to reduce working hours by at most a quarter applies in relation to full-time work, i.e. the Parental Leave Act gives you the right to work 75%.
    However, you should be aware that your income from sickness benefits may be affected because your income will be lower when you take time off work. This could mean, for example, that the benefit you would receive from Försäkringskassan if you were to become long-term ill will be lower.
    If you want to know more about how your sickness benefit is affected, contact Försäkringskassan on 0771 524 524.

    Your second question; how the reduction of working time should be arranged under the Parental Leave Act is more difficult to give an equally definite answer to.
    The Parental Leave Act provides strong support to the employee in accommodating the employee's wishes. However, this does not mean that you as an employee have the right to choose freely when to take leave and when not to.

    According to Article 12, partial leave can either be arranged so that you are off for a whole day/all days (called compressed or concentrated part-time) or partial leave can be spread out over the week, either as you wish (avoiding certain specific times) or by shortening all days equally.

    Article 14 of the states that the employee must consult the employer on the arrangement of the leave and that the leave must be arranged in accordance with the employee's wishes if such an arrangement does not cause significant disruption to the employer's business.

    For the employer to be able to refuse you the leave arrangement you want, your intended leave must cause significant disruption to the employer's business. If the employer cannot show that it involves significant disruption, the general rule is that you should be allowed to arrange your working hours as you wish/need to.
    So YES, you can absolutely insist that your leave is handled accordance with the Parental Leave Act regulations!

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