Finland to significantly increase parental leave

“The model guarantees the child a place at the center of family benefits and promotes well-being and gender equality.”

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Parental leave will significantly increase in Finland. A policy change in both maternity and paternity leave will encourages gender equality in parenting as the country will now allow 164 days of paid leave (approximately 6.6 months) with 69 days transferable among parents.

The policy is said to go into effect as soon as fall 2021.

The change to the current policy, which gives women 4.2 months of maternity leave and fathers 2.2 months with an additional six months of paid time off to split, promotes “well-being and gender equality,” a press release stated. Since only one-fourth of Finnish fathers use their allotted time, the government is hoping the policy change will “build a family leave scheme in line with today’s family concept.”

“The family leave reform is the Government’s investment in the future of children and the well-being of families,” Aino-Kaisa Pekonen, Finland’s Minister of Social Affairs and Health, said in a press release. “The reform will be a major change in attitudes, as it will improve equality between parents and make the lives of diverse families easier. The reform will support all kinds of families and ensure equal leaves for children regardless of the form of the family. Sharing parent responsibilities in everyday life will become easier, and the relationship between both parents and the child will be strengthened from the early childhood. The livelihood of families with small children will also improve.”

Single parents are entitled to take the full 328 days of paid leave under the new policy.

“The model guarantees the child a place at the center of family benefits and promotes well-being and gender equality,” Pekonen said. “Above all, a change towards family-friendliness is needed in workplace attitudes, in society as a whole, and within families. I therefore invite employers to join us in this change and to look for means by which it is genuinely possible to combine working life and family.”

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