Here in Norway we have one of the greatest systems when it comes to maternity/paternity leave. Yes, paternity leave is a word here. One part of the leave parents are given is given to dad and dad alone. A smaller part, actually, is given to mom and a third part is left for the parents to share. How you share this is up to each and every couple. The parents are given 46 weeks of leave with 100 percent of their income covered (only one parent at the time, of course) or 56 weeks, with 80 percent of the income covered. The income covered is that of the parent who chooses to stay at home. And there are rules for how much that comes to depending on how much you’ve worked the past year before having the baby. Three weeks before the baby is due and six weeks after it is born, is given to mum. Dad usually get two weeks off after the baby is born, but where he works determines if those weeks are paid or not. Ten weeks of the leave is set to dad, and he can take those weeks off however and whenever he want, before the child is three years old. The parents can then freely distribute the rest of the weeks among themselves. This means that dad is given a larger part of the leave than mom, but in real life mom usually ends up with most of the shared quota.
There have been discussions lately of changing the division of the leave between the two parents. I can’t be bothered to translate this unless someone is truly interested. If you are I will have this post in English as well, if not, then just see this post as me bragging about the welfare system in Norway. 😉