In this blog I want to write mostly about my personal finance journey but also about personal finance issues related to living to Norway. One of them is maternity leave. But I can’t really call this an issue, it’s rather a blessing!
First you should know that family and parenting are values that stand really high in the norwegian society. Coming from another country makes this quite visible to me. Kids are really highly prioritized and cared about in Norway. There is one day during the year where this is strikingly obvious to me: National Day. On the Norwegian national day (May, 17th) kids parade the street. In Oslo you will see a massive children parade: each school bring all their kids to the parade, they walk down the streets and up to the castle, singing and laughing. While in France, our national day parade (July, 14th) consists of military troops walking the streets… To me the way norwegians celebrate national day really symbolizes how their society is: kids are in focus.
The way maternity leave is organised here is pretty much a demonstration of this too. Here is what a norwegian mother is entitled to when having a baby:
- maternity leave with 100% salary during 46-47 weeks (~11 months) or 80% salary during 56 weeks (~1 year)
- 10 weeks of the above are reserved for the father (paternity leave), the father can also choose to extend his paternity leave by “borrowing” some more weeks from the mother’s leave.
- after matermity leave, you return to your position without any question. Your position is guaranteed!
In addition Norway has a national standard of five weeks of vacation and even an extra government grant should one of the parents decide to stay at home with the child from age 1 to 2 on top of this very generous maternity leave.
Another good thing is that in Norway being a stay at home mum is a choice. No woman is forced to stay at home to take care of their kids because they can’t get into day-care or because they can’t both work and take care of their kids, day-care coverage is very high and combined with the the standard 37,5 hour workweek it allows you to be a mom with a career.
I didn’t know about this until after I moved to Norway but now I really feel good about the fact that if I ever have a baby I will be able to take care of it myself and still keep my career if I wish to do so.
I am curious to learn about how maternity leave is in your country? What do you think of the Norwegian model?