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Government submits family leave reform proposal to Parliament

The new model would increase income-related family leave to about 14 months and is expected to come into effect from 1 August 2022.

Lastenrattaita kerrostalon rappukäytävässä.
The new family leave model treats all children equally, irrespective of the type of the family, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health said. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

The government has submitted to Parliament a proposal for reforming Finland's family leave model, which would increase income-related family leave from just under 13 months to about 14 months.

The aim of the reform is to "increase the wellbeing of children and families and to strengthen gender equality and non-discrimination in working life and in the daily lives of families," according to a press release from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

"The reform aims for a more even distribution of family leave, especially so that fathers would exercise their right to family leave more than at present," Minister of Social Affairs and Health Hanna Sarkkinen (Left) wrote on Twitter.

The reform further sets out to achieve more flexible and longer family leave, as well as equal daily allowance quotas for both parents, some of which are transferable.

Each parent would receive 160 allowance days — an increase of 43 days each — with parents able to shift a maximum of 63 parental benefit days of their quota to the other parent.

Parents would therefore have an equal right to a daily allowance regardless of the parent's gender, whether he or she is a biological or adoptive parent, or a resident or non-resident parent (referring to a child's official address after parents separate or divorce).

The parental allowance could be used until the child turns two, and the allowance could be used in several parts. A parent who works part-time for up to five hours a day could also receive partial parental allowance, under the terms of the reform.

The new model is expected to come into effect from 1 August 2022.

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