Parents’ Workplace Situation and Fathers’ Parental Leave Use


Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden (


This study examines how the workplace situation of both parents affects fathers’ parental leave use. We used parental leave-taking register data from Statistics Sweden for dual-earner couples who resided in Stockholm and had children in 1997 (n= 3,755). The results indicate that fathers shorten their parental leave if their workplaces are such that one can expect leave to be associated with high costs and that fathers appear to be influenced by the leave use of other fathers in the workplace. Mothers’ workplace situation appears to be less important for fathers’ leave use. The results point to the importance of actors other than parents (such as employers) for understanding the gender-based division of child care.