Family Leave Policies
Maternity and Paternity Leave
Finland boasts a very generous parental leave policy. The combined maternity and parental leave
results in about 280 weekdays. Finland also has paternity leave which the
government has been trying to make more appealing to new fathers. Maternity leave lasts for 105 weekdays and
for the first 56 days the mother retains about 90% of her salary. After this period, the mother gets about
two-thirds of her pay. Nearly all
mothers take maternity leave. About 70%
of Finnish fathers take paternity leave which lasts for 18 weekdays. Fathers do not get the initial period where
they retain 90% of their salaries.
Instead, they receive about 70% of their salaries. In addition to maternity and paternity leave,
Finland also offers parental leave.
Parental leave is 158 weekdays that can be used by the mother or the father for each child. During this time period parents retain about 70% of their earnings . Parents are able to take this leave in two
shifts but the minimum amount of leave
parents can take is twelve days. Some
employers allow parents to take part time parental leave, but parents can only
do this if they both take it. Parental
leave is mainly taken by mothers and only 2% to 3% of fathers take advantage of it.
Because of this low percentage of fathers, the Finnish government has
instituted “father’s month” in which the father receives 12 additional days of leave if he also take the
last two weeks of parental leave.
|Policy||Length||Salary Retention||Percent That Take Leave|
|Maternity Leave||105 Days||About 70%||Almost All|
|Paternity Leave||18 Days (plus 12 if father takes last 2 weeks of Parental Leave)||About 70%||70%|
|Parental Leave||158 Days||About 70%||Almost All Mothers|
2-3% of Fathers
- Gornick, Janet C. and Marcia K. Meyers. 2003. Families
That Work: Policies for Reconciling Parenthood and Employment. New York:
Russell Sage Foundation.
- Oinonen, Eriikka. 2004. "Starting the First
Family: Changes in Patterns of Family Formation and Demographic Trends in
Finland and Spain." European Societies 6(3):319-346.
- Salmi, Minna, Johanna Lammi-Taskula and Pentti
Takala. 2008. International Review of Leave Policies and Related Research
2008: Finland. Budapest: Institute for Social Policy and Labour.