To work or not to work It is normally fine to continue working throughout the whole pregnancy. However, in some cases you might need to either change your work duties or stay home from work.
When should I request parental leave?
You are usually required to give your employer at least two months' notice before you take parental leave. You should also say how long you want to take leave for. In some employers' collective agreement, the required notice period for taking parental leave differs from the standard. Ask your union representative what conditions apply to you.
Pregnancy can be tiring, and complications can arise unexpectedly. It is advisable to reduce your workload or stay home from work for the final month before your due date.
Read more about preparing for labour.
A risk-free work environment
All employers have a responsibility to ensure that pregnant women are not subjected to health and safety risks.
If you are concerned about being exposed to substances that could put yourself or your baby at risk, contact your company's health and safety representative. If there is no health and safety representative at your company, speak to your manager and your midwife.
There is no proof that working at a computer is harmful during pregnancy. However, stress can have a negative effect. Speak to your midwife if you feel any discomfort or frequently get early labour pains – this is sign of stress. Rest for a while every day if possible.
If you suspect you are being discriminated against because you are pregnant, for instance when negotiating your salary, contact your union representative, your trade union or the Discrimination Ombudsman.
Pregnancy benefit – if you can't be given safer duties
Labour laws prescribe that your workplace must be safe for your and your unborn baby. In certain work situations, the employer is under obligation to adapt your work tasks if you are pregnant. This applies if your work includes heavy or physically demanding tasks, or if you come into contact with hazardous substances such as narcotic gases, lead, solvents and contagious substances.
If your employer cannot modify your work tasks or relocate you, you can apply to receive pregnancy benefit (graviditetspenning) during the last two months before the due date. Make sure you apply for pregnancy benefit well in advance. Your employer will need to send a special certification to the Social Insurance Agency.
Pregnancy benefit can only be granted from week 32 onwards, and the amount is approximately the same as your sickness benefit.
Parental benefit, sickness benefit and holidays
From the last ten days before your estimated due date, you are no longer entitled to pregnancy benefit. Instead, you will probably be asked to claim your first parental benefit from that date.
You are entitled to begin your parental leave 60 days before your estimated due date, and the parental leave can be either part-time or full-time. However, this means you will have fewer days of parental leave after the baby is born. You will receive the parental benefit for about sixteen months. For thirteen of these months, you will receive an amount equivalent to sickness benefit. After that, you are entitled to a further three months of parental benefit, although the benefit will be lower.
If serious complications arise during your pregnancy, you may be entitled to sickness benefit. Normal pregnancy-related symptoms such as back pain and tiredness are not regarded as illness.
Of course, you can also take holidays towards the end of your pregnancy.
Your sickness benefit qualifying income (sjukpenninggrundande inkomst, SGI) will not be reduced if you reduce your working hours within six months before your due date.
The father or your partner gets two weeks of parental leave
At the time of the birth, the other parent has the right to receive temporary parental benefit for 10 if he or she loses income from work.
Make the most of this exciting and important time.
If you are the partner of someone who has just had a child: A new mother needs both emotional support and practical help with a lot of things.
Read more about the first days at home with your newborn baby.
If you are a single parent, try to have helpful and considerate people around you for the first few days or even weeks.
Also read our tips about nausea during pregnancy