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Family leaves – due date before 4.9.2022

The information on family leaves on this page applies to families where the child’s due date is before 4.9.2022 or the child is born prematurely on or before 29 July 2022. In this case, parental allowances are paid in accordance with the old Act.

​​​​​​​As of 1.8.2022, the family leave reform mainly applies to families where the child’s expected date of birth is 4.9.2022 or later.

Maternity leave

According to the Employment Contracts Act, employees are entitled to maternity leave. The length of maternity leave is 105 working days (days of the week other than Sundays and public holidays). Maternity leave begins 30-50 days before the due date and ends after 105 days.

The employer must be notified of the start of maternity leave two months before the start of the leave. You should also remember to apply for maternity allowance two months before the due date. If you receive a salary during your maternity leave, Kela will pay the maternity allowance to your employer. 

Working during the maternity allowance period

With the employer’s consent, you can work during the maternity allowance period. The work and working conditions must be such that they do not pose a danger to the mother or the child to be born. Work must be based on mutual understanding between the employer and the employee about how to do the work.

The Employment Contracts Act prohibits working during maternity leave for two weeks before the due date and for two weeks after childbirth.

Paternity leave

Paternity leave is a maximum of 54 working days, or approximately 9 weeks. Kela pays paternity allowance for the period of leave.​​​​​​

In order to receive paternity allowance, you must live together with the child’s mother and participate in the child’s care. You can receive paternity allowance exceptionally if living separately is due to, for example, work situation. Notice of paternity leave must be given to the employer two months before the start of the leave. If the duration of the leave does not exceed 12 working days, the notice period is one month.

The provisions on paternity leave were amended on 1 January 2013. The new provisions will apply if special maternity allowance, maternity allowance or, in adoptive families, parental allowance was started after 1 January 2013. The old Act applies to all other cases, even if the child was born in 2013. More information on Kela’s website.

Parental leave

Parental leave begins after maternity leave. Its duration is 158 working days. If several children have been born at the same time (multiple-birth families), the parental allowance period is extended by 60 working days for each child. Parental leave may be taken by the father or the mother.

Parents can take turns taking parental leave, but not at the same time (with the exception of multiple-birth families). The father and mother can take partial parental leave at the same time, in which case both work part-time and receive partial parental allowance.

Partial parental leave

Partial parental leave can be taken if the child’s mother and father agree with their employers on part-time work during the parental allowance period so that the working hours and pay of each are 40–60% of the full-time working hours and pay applicable in the sector. The agreement on part-time work must be concluded for a period of at least two months at a time. The employer is not obliged to agree to a part-time work arrangement; under the law, the arrangement is subject to mutual agreement between the employee and the employer.

Parental allowances

Kela pays maternity, paternity and parental allowances (= daily allowances for parents) to compensate for the employee’s wage income not received during the leave. Those without income are entitled to basic security during their leave.

However, in order to receive daily allowance, the applicant must have lived in Finland for at least 180 days immediately before the expected date of birth of the child. A person who has been insured in an EU or EEA country, Switzerland or Israel is also entitled to daily allowances.

Kela’s website has a calculator that can be used to calculate the timing of the daily allowance period and estimate the amount of daily allowance based on income from work. Daily allowance is paid for weekdays (including Saturdays), but not on Sundays, public holidays, Independence Day or May Day.

The employee must notify the employer of the intended family leave no later than two months before the start of the leave. At the same time, they must notify the employer of the length of the leave and whether it will be taken in several periods. An employee may, for a justified reason, deviate from the two-month notification period. However, if the leave lasts no more than 12 working days, the notice must be given at least one month before the start of the leave.