Edited: 20.06.2016 - 12:09

Keywords: Working life

Family leaves

The purpose of maternity, paternity, parental and child care leave is to safeguard the health of the mother and child and to offer parents the opportunity to take care of their child for the first three years of his/her life. For the duration of such leave, parents are either compensated by earnings-related allowance or child home care allowance.

The birth or adoption of a child entitles you to different types of family leave, including:

  • maternity, paternity and parental leave to care for a child under 2 years of age;
  • special maternity leave from work endangering a foetus or pregnancy;
  • child care leave for parents of children under 3 years of age;
  • part-time child care leave: reduced working hours up until the end of a child’s second school year;
  • temporary child care leave to arrange for care of a sick child under 10 years of age or to care for the child personally;
  • special child care leave for more long-term care of a seriously ill child.

Parents can share family leave between themselves with the exception of periods of maternity and paternity leave, which are only intended for mothers and fathers, respectively.

During child care leave, you may receive child home care allowance. Part-time child home care allowance can be granted to a parent who is working reduced hours in order to care for a child under three years of age or a young schoolchild. Further information about family benefits and how daily allowances are calculated is available from the website and brochures of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, Kela.

Notifying your employer

If you intend to take a period of maternity, paternity or parental leave, you must always notify your employer within the times listed below:

Maternity and paternity leave

  • 2 months before the intended start of leave;
  • 1 month before if the maximum duration is 12 days.

An employee has the right to take maternity leave earlier than intended and to change the time of paternity leave intended to be taken in connection with childbirth, in case this is necessary because of the birth of a child or the health of a child, mother or father. In such cases, the employer must be notified of the change as soon as possible.

Parental leave

  • 2 months before the start of leave;
  • 1 month before if the maximum duration is 12 days or if it is not possible to observe the 2-month notification rule due to the start of employment of your spouse/partner and subsequent child care arrangements.

Child care leave

  • 2 months before the start of leave;
  • 1 month before if the maximum duration is 12 days.

Part-time child care leave

  • You must submit a proposal for leave to your employer no later than 2 months before the start of leave.

Relevant information