Contact information 

Please notice that PAM and Unemployment Fund helplines are experiencing high call volumes especially in the morning. Answers to many questions is found on our web site.

Membership services

Members' service 030 100 630 is open from September 26 to October 28 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10.00 am - 14.00 pm.

030 100 630 10 am to 2 pm

Employment advice

030 100 625  10 am to 2 pm

Unemployment benefit advice 020 690 211 10 am to 2 pm

Family leaves

Updated: 15.09.2022

Family leaves

If a baby is born in your family or you adopt a child, the parents are entitled to stay at home to care for the child, i.e. take family leave for the child’s first three years.

The right to family leave is based on the Employment Contracts Act, and the provisions on wages to be paid during family leave are contained in collective agreements, whereas the benefits paid during family leave are defined in the Health Insurance Act.

This page contains information on family leave and the income paid during family leave. Revised legislation on family leave came into force on 1 August 2022 and applies to families whose baby’s expected due date is on or after 4 September 2022. If the baby’s expected due date is before 4 September 2022, the previous family leave legislation is applied. Below is a summary of information based on the new family leave legislation.

You can read about the previous family leave entitlements here (in Finnish)

Contents

What does family leave mean?
How are earnings and benefits determined during family leave?
How are wages determined during family leave in the property services sector?
How are wages determined during family leave in the commerce sector?
How are wages determined during family leave in the hospitality sector?
When do you have to notify a pregnancy to your employer?
How are membership fees determined during family leave?
Can an employer terminate employment during family leave?
Do pension and holiday accrue during family leave?

What does family leave mean?

Under the Employment Contracts Act, family leave means pregnancy leave, special pregnancy leave and parental leave, partial parental leave, child care leave, partial child care leave, temporary  child care leave, and other absences due to compelling family-related reasons.

Pregnancy leave means leave that starts at the earliest 30 weekdays and at the latest 14 weekdays before the baby’s expected due date and is a maximum of 40 weekdays regardless of when the baby is born. Working mothers can work during pregnancy leave with their employer’s consent, but the work must not be hazardous for the mother or the foetus. The mother must, however, take mandatory leave for at least two weeks before the due date and two weeks after birth.

Special pregnancy leave is intended for mothers with jobs or working conditions that are hazardous to their own or the foetus’s health (e.g. exposure to chemical substances, radiation, transmissible diseases) and whose employer cannot provide or move the pregnant employee to other work duties. The special allowance period ends when the pregnancy allowance period starts. The compensation is paid by Kela.

Parental leave means leave that starts immediately after pregnancy leave and lasts a maximum of 320 days regardless of whether the care is for a biological child or adopted child. Parental leave is divided equally between the parents, meaning that each parent has 160 weekdays to use (approx. 6.5 months). If they want, parents can transfer a maximum of 63 weekdays from their own allocation to the other parent. Single parents can use the entire 320 days of leave themselves. Parental leave can be used until the child reaches the age of two years or two years have passed since the adopted child was taken into care.

Partial parental leave means leave where the parent works part-time and is partly at home caring for their child. You must first make an agreement with your employer to work part-time.

Child care leave means leave that usually starts after parental leave and lasts until the child turns three. The parents of an adopted child are also entitled to child care leave until two years after the adoption or until the child starts school.

Partial child care leave means partial leave starting after parental leave and lasting until the end of the second school year of a child in basic education, in practice meaning until the end of July.

Temporary child care leave means caring for an ill child under the age of 10 years. A parent is entitled to temporary child care leave if they stay at home to care for a child who has suddenly fallen ill or to arrange care for the child. Under the Employment Contracts Act, temporary child care leave can last a maximum of four working days at a time and an employer is not required to pay wages for this period. Collective agreements may contain different practices, however, and therefore you should check the collective agreement for your sector.

Other absences for compelling family-related reasons can be situations where the presence of an employee is essential for an unforeseen or compelling reason, such as illness or an accident. No time limit is stipulated for such absence, but in any case the absence is intended to be temporary.

In other compelling absences to care for a family member or other close relative you can get leave for a specified period. An employee does not, however, have an absolute right to get leave for informal care, and the length of the leave and other arrangements must be agreed with your employer.

How are earnings and benefits determined during family leave?

During family leave parents are entitled to get compensation either from their employer or ultimately from Kela, depending on the length of their employment relationship, the collective agreement or possibly due to workplace practices that are more favourable for the employee. Here you can find information on the daily allowances that Kela pays during family leave. The advice and information is very general, and you can get more detailed information from Kela and their website, where there is also a calculator to estimate your benefit entitlement, the amount of support and how long it is paid for.
During family leave Kela pays pregnancy and parental allowance and partial parental leave. After  parental allowance, child care allowance is paid during child care leave. During child care leave those on low incomes can also get a municipal supplement in those municipalities where it is paid.

The amount of the daily allowances paid by Kela is based on your earnings, the minimum amount or the allocated amount depending on the benefit and whether you meet the conditions for benefits. Unemployed parents are also entitled to daily allowances from Kela while they care for their child. If you are unemployed, you must suspend your job searching while you care for your child, and then instead of unemployment security you are paid pregnancy and parental allowance. After this home care allowance is paid.

Pregnancy allowance. All 40 weekdays of pregnancy allowance are paid either by your employer, depending on your employment relationship and the provisions of the collective agreement, or otherwise Kela.

Parental allowance. After pregnancy allowance, parental allowance is paid for a total of 320 weekdays. It is paid both on the basis of the birth or adoption of a child. If more than one child is born at once, parental allowance is  paid for 84 more weekdays per child. Single parents are entitled to use all the parental leave days on their own. In families with two parents, the family leave is divided equally, meaning that each parent is entitled to parental allowance for 160 weekdays. Of these, a maximum of 63 parental allowance days can be transferred to the other parent. In addition, payment of parental allowances can be split up flexibly to suit your family situation, for example payment can be for individual days, half days, part-weeks or longer periods at a time. You can receive parental allowance until the child reaches the age of  two years, or two years have passed since an adopted child was taken into care.

Partial parental allowance. If during parental leave you want to both work part-time and care for your child at home, you can do this on partial parental allowance. As the name suggests, parental allowance is paid in part, and the unused parental allowance can be used later, but before the child reaches the age of 2 years. In the case of adoption, you can get partial parental allowance until two years have passed since the child was taken into care. There are certain conditions on part-time working during partial parental allowance. Ask Kela for  more details about this.

Child home care allowances. After parental allowance you are entitled to get child care allowances, which include flexible care allowance, home care allowance, private day care allowance and partial care allowance. Your work and the type of care your child has determine your right to these benefits.

Getting home care allowance and private day care allowance depends on whether the child is cared for at home or outside the home. You can get home care allowance if your child is not in municipal day care and it is 160 weekdays since the child was born. Home care allowance and parental allowance are not paid for the same period for the same child. You can get home care allowance until the child reaches the age of 3 years, and the child can be cared for either by one of the parents or another family member or a paid carer. Adoptive parents are also entitled to home care allowance for a child aged over 3 years. In the case of adoption, you can get the allowance for two years from the date of taking the child into care.

Private day care allowance – a family can get this if their child is in care in a private day care centre or is being cared for by a private childminder. The allowance is intended for care provision for children under school age.

Flexible care allowance – a parent can get this if they return to part-time work after parental leave. You can get flexible care allowance until the child reaches the age of 3 years. Both parents can get flexible care allowance at the same time if they care for their child at different times. A parent who does not live in the same household as the child can also claim the benefit. Other allowances, like home care allowance, affect your ability to get flexible care allowance, whereas the type of family does not affect your ability to get it.

Partial care allowance is intended for parents who have reduced their working hours as required by law to care for a schoolchild in the first or second grade. Both parents can get partial care allowance at the same time provided that the parents take turns and care for the child at different times. The type of family does not affect your ability to get the benefit.

Special care allowance – you can get this if a parent is preventing from working because they have to participate in the treatment or rehabilitation of a seriously ill or disabled child under the age of 16 years. Getting other benefits or wages whilst you care for the child may affect your ability to get the benefit.

How are wages determined during family leave in the property services sector?

Family leave is granted for a child born on or after 4 September 2022 in accordance with the revised legislation.

Negotiations between PAM and the employers’ federation on paid parental leave did not lead to a result in the spirit of the law. So far no changes have been achieved in paid family leave periods under the collective agreement. Check the length of paid family leave with your employer. Family-friendly employers have agreed locally on paid leave on more equal terms than in the current collective agreement.

Under the existing rules on family leave, mothers are entitled to their wages for 3 months during maternity leave and fathers to 6 days during paternal leave if at the start of the maternity or paternity leave the employee’s employment relationship has lasted at least one year without interruption and the employee returns to their job after the family leave. This means that if the employee does not return to their job after family leave, the employer is entitled to recover the difference between the wages paid and daily allowances under the Health Insurance Act. 

An employee can be away from their work for 4 days due to the sudden illness of a child aged under 10 years. Such absences are paid and are conditional on the ill child being cared for by one person only at a time. This means that if necessary you must provide a clarification of why the other parent living in the same household is prevented from caring for the child. If you are required to be absent for longer, you should discuss with your employer about the possibility of unpaid absence.

How are wages determined during family leave in the commerce sector?

Family leave is granted for a child born on or after 4 September 2022 in accordance with the revised legislation.

Negotiations between PAM and the employers’ federation on paid parental leave did not lead to a result in the spirit of the law. So far no changes have been achieved in paid family leave periods under the collective agreement. Check the length of paid family leave with your employer. Family-friendly employers have agreed locally on paid leave on more equal terms than in the current collective agreement.

Under the existing rules on family leave, mothers are entitled to their wages for 3 months if their employment relationship has lasted at least 9 months before the leave starts and the employee returns to work from the family leave. During paternity leave employees are entitled to their wages for 6 days if the above conditions are met.

An employee is entitled to be temporarily away from work due to the sudden illness of a child under the age of 10 years and to get their wages. An employer is required to pay wages for three days of absence. The obligation to pay wages ends after three days, after which the employee can if necessary agree with their employer to be absent without pay. At your employer’s request you must provide a clarification of the ability of the other parent to care for the child and submit a medical certificate of the child’s illness. Read more here. 

How are wages determined during family leave in the hospitality sector?

Family leave is granted for a child born on or after 4 September 2022 in accordance with the revised legislation.

Negotiations between PAM and the employers’ federation on paid parental leave did not lead to a result in the spirit of the law. So far no changes have been achieved in paid family leave periods under the collective agreement. Check the length of paid family leave with your employer. Family-friendly employers have agreed locally on paid leave on more equal terms than in the current collective agreement.

Under the existing rules on family leave, mothers are paid basic wages for the first three months at the start of the leave if the employment relationship has lasted at least 12 months without interruption before the start of maternity leave and the employee returns to work after the family leave. During paternity leave the employer is paid basic wages for six weekdays. If the employee does not return to work after family leave, the employer is entitled to recover the share they paid. Read more here. [KBE2] 

An employee is entitled to be temporarily away from work due to the sudden illness of a child under the age of 10 years and to get their wages. An employee is entitled to sick pay for three calendar days, after which the employee can if necessary agree with their employer to be absent without pay. At your employer’s request you must provide a clarification of the ability of the other parent to care for the child and submit a medical certificate of the child’s illness. Read more here. 

When do you have to notify a pregnancy to your employer?

There are no rules in legislation or collective agreements on when a pregnancy must be notified to an employer. Despite this it is extremely important to notify your employer as early as possible because once an employer has been informed of a pregnancy, protection against dismissal during pregnancy and the requirement to observe occupational safety measures for expectant mothers begin. 

How are membership fees determined during family leave?

Members must always notify PAM that they are going on family leave. Membership is not terminated, but exemption from membership fees has to be agreed with the union.

Membership fees are paid normally on periods of paid family leave. After this, if you move on to Kela daily allowances membership fees are not paid. Read more here.

Can an employer terminate employment during family leave?

Under the Employment Contracts Act an employer may not terminate employment due to an employee being pregnant or taking family leave. An employee on family leave can only be dismissed if the employer’s activity ceases completely. 

Do pension and holiday accrue during family leave?

During absence due to pregnancy, special pregnancy or parental leave as well as absence for family-related reasons, annual holiday accrues for a maximum period of 6 months (160 days). During child care  leave, on the other hand, annual holiday does not accrue. You can find more detailed information here. 

During family leave earnings-related pension also accrues for periods of unpaid leave. This means that pension also accrues for periods of home care for a child aged under 3 years.

SAK guide to family leave for shop stewards (in Finnish)

 

Read more

Member benefits

    Contact information 

    Please notice that PAM and Unemployment Fund helplines are experiencing high call volumes especially in the morning. Answers to many questions is found on our web site.

    Membership services

    Members' service 030 100 630 is open from September 26 to October 28 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10.00 am - 14.00 pm.

    030 100 630 10 am to 2 pm

    Employment advice

    030 100 625  10 am to 2 pm

    Unemployment benefit advice 020 690 211 10 am to 2 pm