Poll: All Industries Must Split Child-Care Costs

Yle Uutisten artikkeliarkisto

Two-thirds of the Finns say that the costs of maternity leaves need to be shared out among all employers.

A survey published in the Sunday supplement of a group of central Finnish local dailies found most people do not want these costs to be mainly carried by sectors which employee large numbers of women.

Even though nowadays it is known as "family leave" and Dad also gets some time with baby - it is still mainly a matter of maternity benefits, and it is Mom's employer who pays most of the costs.

Employers Say No

This in turn means that in sectors of the economy with large numbers of female employees, companies end up a much larger financial responsibility for maternity leaves. There have been efforts made to balance this out, but without success. The policy issue requires a formal agreement among three separate parties - the state, union organisations and employers' federations.

Three-quarters of people between the ages of 25 and 34 think it is a good idea. It does not seem to be a politically divisive issue, as the idea has been backed by the parliamentary groups of the Centre, the Social Democrats, the conservative National Coalition and the Greens.

White-collar unions are in favour, as are employers in the service sector. Most of the opposition is coming from the Confederation of Finnish Industry and Employers which says its members, many in male-dominated sectors, would suffer.