Previous paternity leave and daddy month
Who is eligible?
The rules concerning paternity leaves changed on 1 January 2013. Paternity allowance during paternity leave and daddy month are paid in accordance with the previous legislation if parents began to receive special maternity allowance, maternity allowance or parental allowance (adoptive parents) in 2012 even if the child has born in 2013.
To qualify for paternity allowance, you must live together with the mother of the child. However, you may qualify for paternity allowance even if you live at separate addresses if the separation is due to, e.g. the work situation and not to a breakdown of the relationship.
The father may not work or study full time during his paternity leave or daddy month. Working on Sunday is permitted because no benefit is paid for those days. Studying and receiving financial aid for studying will not prevent you from taking the daddy month if you look after the child while studying.
Another condition is that you have been covered by the Finnish social security for at least 180 days just before the estimated date of delivery. The insurance period can also include insurance period from another EU or ETA country, Switzerland or Israel. If you are moving to Finland from abroad, further information is available in section Moving to Finland.
Adoptive fathers and one of the partners in rainbow families are also eligible for paternity allowance and daddy month. With female couples, daddy month can be taken by the parent who has adopted the child. With male couples, either one can take daddy month, but both are not entitled to take it.
Paternity leave of 1–18 working days
The father can take 1–18 working days, or about 3 weeks, as paternity leave after the child is born. Working days are weekdays from Monday to Saturday excluding weekday holidays.
On paternity leave, you can be at home at the same time as the mother. Kela will pay paternity allowance for the duration of the leave. Therefore, the mother may receive maternity or parental allowance at the same time.
It is not necessary to take the paternity leave immediately after the child is born, you can take it any time during the maternity and parental allowance period. In practice, paternity leave must be taken before the child is about 9 months old.
You can also divide the leave into shorter periods, up to a maximum of 4 periods of leave. If you are on leave from Monday to Friday, this will take up 5 days of paternity allowance. If, on the other hand, you are on leave from Monday until the Monday of the following week, the Saturday in between will also be included, and the total number of days spent is therefore 7.
Notify your employer of your paternity leave at least 2 months before the start of leave. If your paternity leave is a maximum of 12 working days, notify your employer at least one month in advance.
In addition to this paternity leave of a maximum of 18 days, you are also entitled to a whole daddy month when you spend at least 12 of the last working days of the parental allowance period. Paternity leave will have no impact on the length of the daddy month.
Daddy month is for fathers, whose family began to receive special maternity allowance, maternity allowance or parental allowance (adoptive parents) in 2012 even though the child has born in 2013.
When a father uses at least 12 working days from the end of the parental allowance period, he will also receive paternity allowance for 1–25 working days. This leave is called a daddy month. Working days are weekdays from Monday to Saturday excluding weekday holidays.
The daddy month is up to 36 working days, i.e. just over 6 weeks depending on the number of public holidays during that period. The leave must be taken in one period.
Benefits during daddy month
You will receive parental allowance for the first 12 working days of the daddy month and paternity allowance for the next 1–24 working days.
The benefits for the daddy month are paid on the same grounds as the first parental allowance (e.g. paternity allowance) even if the amount of income had changed in the meantime. The paternity allowance may also be increased if you have not taken parental leave and received increased parental allowance (30 days).
When can I take the daddy month?
You can take daddy month immediately after the parental leave or at a later date. You can postpone daddy month by about six months. You must have taken it within 180 calendar days from the end of the parental allowance. If you postpone the daddy month, the other parent must look after the child at home in the meantime, i.e. the child cannot be looked after outside the home. The mother or father may qualify for child home care allowance from Kela for a home care period of over one month.
If you take the daddy month immediately after parental leave, all you need to do is to claim benefits. If you postpone your daddy month, notify of the postponement at least 2 months before the parental allowance would otherwise end. In addition to postponing it, also remember to claim benefits for the daddy month 2 months before starting the leave.
What will the mother do during daddy leave?
During daddy leave, the mother may be at home, on paid annual leave or, for example, go to work or study. The mother need not tell Kela what she is doing during daddy month. The mother shall agree with her employer on her annual leave, working, etc.
No parental allowance is paid to the mother during daddy leave because the allowance will go to the father. If there are other children under school age in the family, the family may be eligible for child home care allowance if the allowance for the daddy month is low. However, usually the parents do not qualify for child home care allowance as well.
New child before the daddy month
If you have a new baby, and maternity, paternity or parental allowance for the new child is paid before the daddy month is taken, the father may not take the daddy month. However, the parental allowance transferred to the father cannot be returned to the mother even if the daddy month is cancelled.