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Military personnel receive family and medical leave benefits as part of their service in Denmark, Israel, Norway, and Sweden. All countries provide leave following the birth or adoption or a child and caring for a sick child. Leave may be paid or unpaid. Israel distinguishes between permanent-service personnel and conscripts when awarding leave benefits.

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Both men and women serving in the military receive parental and family leave in Denmark.  Leave is granted for the care of young children, sick children, seriously ill children, dying family members, etc.  The leave may be paid or unpaid.  Paid leave is made up of a combination of leave paid by the employer and leave paid by the state.

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Generally, permanent-service personnel enjoy more extensive family and medical leave rights than conscripts.  Whereas pregnancy is usually a cause for termination of a conscript’s mandatory service, female permanent-service soldiers continue to serve during pregnancy and are entitled to various leave benefits associated with pregnancy and maternity.

Permanent-service soldiers are authorized paid leave to undertake fertility treatment; leave during a spouse’s pregnancy and childbirth; leave following the birth or adoption of a child; leave to care for a sick child, spouse, or parent; and leave for bereavement.  In addition, the work day may be shortened for permanent-service soldiers who are nursing mothers and for parents of young children. 

As compared with permanent-service personnel, male conscripts enjoy more limited paternity leave following the birth or adoption of a child.  All conscripts, male or female alike, enjoy special leave owing to the injury, illness, or death of first of kin.  Conscripts may also get approved special leave for other personal reasons.  

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Norwegian workers, including military personnel, are entitled to leave during pregnancy; following a birth; and to care for young children, sick children, dying family members, and other family members for a limited period.  Leave can be both paid and unpaid.

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Military personnel have the same right as civilian workers to take leave for family reasons, which includes eighteen months of shared parental leave following the birth of a child, and 120 “care for ill children days.”  Leave need not always be paid and where it is the payment is generally made through a separate state agency, Försäkringskassan—not by the military itself.  

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Last Updated: 07/24/2020