Finnish family leave reform enters into force, promotes equality

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Helsinki– Reforms to Finnish law on family leave has entered into force, for the first time giving both parents the same amount of time off with the birth of a child.

Hanna Sarkkinen, Minister for Social Affairs, said on Monday that the reform would improve the position of women in the labour market, and give fathers more time with their newborn children as well, reports Xinhua news agency.

Under the reform, both parents will be given 160 days of parental allowance.

One of the parents can choose to transfer up to 63 parental allowance days to the other, and for the final stage of pregnancy, there will be an allowance period of 40 days.

There will be six daily allowance days per week, with total allowance days for parents amounting to more than 14 months.

Parents can use their allowance days until the child reaches the age of two.

Daily allowance days can be used in several parts, and parents in employment relationships will be entitled to split the leave up into four parts.

Only pregnancy allowance days will have to be used in a single continuous period, and started 14-30 days before the estimated date of birth.

These new types of parental leave will mainly apply to parents expecting a child on or after September 4.

Previously, family leave consisted of the mother’s maternal allowance period of 105 working days, which started before the child’s estimated date of birth.

Fathers had a paternal allowance period of 54 working days, while the parental allowance period of 158 working days could be taken by one of the parents, or shared between the two. (IANS)



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