In recent decades, the use of collectively bargained payments to cover parental leave has become increasingly important in Sweden. As part of a general trend, supplementary payments from collectively bargained schemes for risks covered by the social security system have taken on a major role. In the literature, this development has been partly explained by an overall decline in the Swedish welfare state, starting in the early 1990s. This article explores the interaction between collectively bargained provisions on supplements for working parents in Sweden, and their interaction with the statutory system of parental leave benefits. The long-standing emphasis on work-life balance in Swedish public policy is well known, but the significance of collective bargaining and the involvement of the social partners in this area has received less attention. Starting from national legislation and policies on work-family reconciliation, this article explores a number of effects of the collectively bargained supplements: with respect to the interests that come into play, with respect to the finances of working parents, and with respect to gender equality and the division of parental leave between men and women. It is argued that one effect of a development in which collective bargaining provides for an increasing share of income during parental leave is that key public policy ideas on the design of parental leave regulation are tweaked to the benefit of other ideas promoted by the social partners. Moreover, as access to collectively bargained supplements is not the same for all employees, another effect is that the supplements come into conflict with the principle of universality that underpins the social security system. A third effect, however, is that collectively bargained supplements provide an important but not widely recognized incentive for parents to move away from a gendered division of parental leave.