Paternity allowance during paternity leave
The rules concerning paternity leaves changed on 1 January 2013. The change is relevant to parents who began to receive special maternity allowance, maternity allowance or parental allowance (adoptive parents) after 1 January 2013. If payment of the allowance began in 2012, the paternity allowance is paid in accordance with the previous legislation.
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.
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 are also eligible for paternity allowance. Persons in a registered partnership, regardless of their gender, are also eligible for paternity allowance if they adopt their partner's biological child or adopted child. Paternity allowance can only be granted to one of the partners at a time.
The length of paternity leave
Paternity leave is 54 working days altogether (approximately 9 weeks). Working days are weekdays from Monday to Saturday excluding weekday holidays.
The father can take 1–18 working days, about 3 weeks, as paternity leave after the child is born during the maternity and parental allowance. In this 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. You can take the rest of the paternity leave or the whole 54 working days after the maternity and parental allowance.
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.
When can I take paternity leave?
Paternity leave must be taken before the child is 2 years old. The child can be in day care before paternity leave.
You can also divide the leave into shorter periods. 1–18 working days can be divided up to a maximum of 4 periods of leave. Paternity leave taken after maternal or parental leave can be divided up to a maximum of 2 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.
Studying or working during paternity leave
To quality for paternity allowance, you cannot work or study full time during paternity leave. Working on Sundays is permitted because paternity allowance is paid only for weekdays. Studying and receiving financial aid for studying will not prevent you from receiving paternity allowance if you look after the child in addition to studying.