The duration of maternity leave is 105 weekdays. Employees who are entitled to maternity leave according to the Finnish Health Insurance Act are paid salary from the beginning of maternity leave for 72 weekdays, after which Kela pays the mother daily allowance according to the Health Insurance Act.
Special maternity leave
Those working with dangerous chemicals or ionizing radiation should inform their supervisors as early in the pregnancy as possible, so that the unit can undertake measures to eliminate possible risk factors or change working arrangements.
If the job functions or working conditions endanger the health of either the mother-to-be or the fetus and these risk factors cannot be avoided, even before the actual maternity leave is set to begin, the mother-to-be has the possibility of taking special maternity leave without salary, yet with special maternity allowance.
Paternity leave and paternity allowance
The duration of paternity leave is 54 weekdays at most. Of this period, the father can stay at home at the same time with the mother for a maximum of 18 weekdays while the mother is on maternity or parental leave. The father can take all the 54 weekdays of paternity leave even after the parental allowance period, at a different time than the mother. However, paternity leave must be used up before the child has turned two years old and it can be divided to max 4 separate leaves.
An employee who is entitled to paternity leave shall receive salary for 6 ordinary weekdays. After that it is possible to get paternity allowance from Kela. Saturdays are included in ordinary weekdays according to Kela.
Receiving paternity allowance requires that the father lives together with the child’s mother. In exceptional cases paternity allowance can be received even if the parents live at different addresses, if the separation of a couple is due to, for example, work arrangements. Another condition is that the father has been covered by Finnish social security for at least 180 days before the child’s calculated date of birth.
Parental leave begins after maternity leave. The duration of parental leave is 158 weekdays. Kela pays parental allowance for the whole duration of parental leave.
Parental leave can be taken
- by one of the parents entirely
- divided by parents who take turns
- both parents can take part-time leave.
Child care leave
The mother or the father can take an unpaid child care leave until the child turns three years old. Child care leave can be taken in one or two periods. If a parent takes child care leave after the parental leave has ended, he/she must first use up all of the accrued days of annual holiday and the child care leave will be granted to begin after the annual holiday leave has ended. No annual holiday is accrued during the child care leave.
Partial child care leave
An employee, who has been employed by the same employer for at least six months during the last 12 months is eligible for taking a partial child care leave in order to take care of a child living permanently in the same address until the child going to school finishes his/her second school year. The employee's proposal on partial child care leave must be submitted to the employer at the latest of two months before the planned start date. Kela pays flexible care allowance to the parent of a child under three years of age, provided that the average weekly working hours are at most 30 hours per week and the partial child care leave lasts for more than two months.