Maternity policy, Norwegian-style

Mar 28 2006 by Brian Amble Print This Article

BBC Online looks at Norway's generous family policies and asks whether publicly-funded initiatives such as these are responsible for one of the highest birth rates in Europe:

"Inger Sethov works for Norway's second largest oil and gas company, Hydro. She is pregnant with her second baby. Five-year-old Lea will have a little brother or sister in June.

I'm entitled to 12 months off work with 80% pay, or 10 months with full pay. My husband is entitled to take almost all of that leave instead of me, and he must take at least four weeks out.

"Economic considerations never even crossed our minds when we decided to have children. It's just not an issue. Of course that makes it easier for women to have more babies, it gives you an enormous freedom," said Ms Sethov

BBC Online | Norway's welfare model 'helps birth rate'