The Slovenia Times

More paid parental leave for Slovenian dads

Father walking two kids to school. Photo by Hina/STA

Dads in Slovenia will be entitled to paid paternal leave of up to 75 days from April next year, up from 30 at present, under legislative changes passed by the National Assembly this week.

The father will be able to use 15 days of paternity leave before the child is three months old. The remaining 60 days can be used until the child turns eight years old, and it does not have to be used up in one chunk, it can be divided into multiple smaller chunks.

"Experience from abroad shows that fathers who are entitled to non-transferable parental leave opt to use it more often. This means they are more intensely and more frequently involved in childcare in the child's earliest years," according to Luka Mesec, the minister of labour, the family, social affairs and equal opportunities.

Slovenia has a complex system whereby parental leave is divided into transferable portions, which can be swapped between parents, and non-transferable portions.

However, the transferable portion is rarely actually transferred onto fathers: in 2020 only 820 men used this part of parental leave as opposed to almost 19,000 women, according to data compiled by the newspaper Delo.

Despite the more than doubling of fathers' parental leave, mothers will not be worse off. At maximum, they are entitled to 365 days of paid leave, a portion of which is transferable onto their partners should they so wish.

The new law also allows both parents to work part-time at the same time; their combined non-work hours may not exceed 20 hours per week, which means both parents can for example theoretically work six-hour days.

They are entitled to part-time work until the child is eight years old. When they use part-time work, they get the proportionate share of their wage; for the non-work hours their social security contributions are paid by the state.


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