Paternity allowance

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The information on this page applies to your family if:

  • the estimated due date of your baby is before 4 September 2022
  • you are adopting and the child will be placed in your care on or before 30 July 2022.

Click here for further information on parental allowances when the estimated due date of the baby is on or after 4 September 2022.

The paternity leave can last up to 54 working days or about 9 weeks. Fathers can choose to stay at home for 1 to 18 days at the same time as the child's mother while she is paid maternity or parental allowance. The rest of the paternity leave can be taken in a maximum of 2 separate periods after the parental allowance has ended.

If more than one child is born or adopted at a time, the paternity allowance period is extended by 18 working days for each child that is born or adopted at the same time. For two children the paternity allowance period can be 72 working days, for three children 90 working days, and for four or more children 105 working days. One requirement for entitlement to an extension of the paternity allowance period is that the mother’s parental allowance period starts or the adopted children have been placed in the care of the adoptive parents on or after 1 April 2019.

Example

The father of twins can take 1–36 days of paternity leave during the mother’s maternity and parental allowance period and the rest of the days in a maximum of two separate periods after that. If the father of twins takes 18 days of paternity leave per child during the mother's maternity and parental allowance period, i.e. a total of 36 days, he can take the remaining 36 days in a maximum of two separate periods after the mother's parental allowance period has ended.
After the paternity leave the father can take out the following types of parental leave:
  • parental leave, after the mother's maternity leave. The leave can also be divided with the mother.
  • care leave, after the parental leave.
  • partial care leave, if the father returns to work part-time.

Timing of the paternity leave

You can go on paternity leave when your child is born. Fathers can, if they wish, use all of their paternity allowance entitlement after the maternity and parental allowance period. You must take paternity leave before your child reaches the age of two or before two years have passed since the child was adopted.

You can take the leave all at one time or break it up into shorter periods. The 1 to 18 days that may be taken at the same time as the child's mother can be broken up into as many as 4 periods. The paternity leave entitlement following the payment of the parental allowance can be divided into 2 periods. None of the paternity leave entitlement can be transferred to the mother.

If, for example, the father after the parental allowance period claims paternity allowance from Monday to Friday one week and from Monday to Friday again the following week, he will have used up both of the 2 allowed periods, although he will not have used up the maximum number of days available. The reason for this is that the allowance is also paid for Saturdays even if the father has the day off from work on Saturday.

Please note that the period is interrupted also when the father works e.g. for just one day during the paternity leave. After this, there is one period less available.

Fathers in multi-birth families and fathers who have adopted several children at a time can use the extension of the paternity allowance period either in full or in part during the mother’s maternity and parental allowance period or after the parental allowance period. The extension of the paternity allowance period does not affect the number of the aforementioned periods.

Example

The father of twins can take 1–36 days of paternity leave during the mother’s maternity and parental allowance period and the rest of the days in a maximum of two separate periods after that. The father of triplets can take 1–54 days of paternity leave during the mother’s maternity and parental allowance period.
If you take paternity leave after the parental allowance period has ended your child can attend day care before the paternity leave.  Tell the day care provider that your child will stay home during the paternity leave at least two weeks before the leave is set to begin. Your decision to take paternity leave does not mean that you have to give up your child's place in day care. However, your child cannot attend day care during the paternity leave. Other children in your family can attend day care while you are on paternity leave.

You should note that any paternity allowance you are paid after the parental allowance period will affect the child care allowance. Find out how the paternity leave affects the child home care allowance and the private day care allowance.

Paternity allowance during the paternity leave

During the paternity leave, Kela pays you a paternity allowance. Find out if your employer will pay you a salary during the paternity leave. You will need this information when claiming paternity allowance. You can claim paternity allowance also if you are, for example, self-employed, unemployed or a student.   

Notify your employer at least 2 months before taking a paternity leave. If you will be taking 12 or fewer working days off, the pre-notification period is just one month. Sometimes it is necessary to change a period of leave that you had planned to take out in connection with the birth of the child if e.g. the child is born prematurely or if the child, the mother or the father falls ill. In such a case, you can change the paternity leave by informing your employer about it as soon as possible.

Do not claim paternity allowance until the child has been born and you know when you wish to take a paternity leave. Claim the allowance for a single contiguous period or for several shorter periods if you wish to divide it. Paternity allowance is paid for all days of the week except for Sundays and holidays that fall on a weekday. You can choose the days for which to claim paternity allowance. For example, you can choose to receive paternity allowance for Saturdays or choose not to receive it.

It is worth noting, however, that if your employer pays you a salary during the paternity leave, the paternity allowance will be paid to your employer. If the paternity leave includes paid days off, the allowance will be paid to the employer for those days as well. For example, if a paid paternity leave spans a weekend and Saturday is a paid day off, the paternity allowance will be paid to the employer also for the Saturday, in which case the Saturday will count against the father's paternity allowance entitlement.

Entitlement to the paternity allowance

You are entitled to a paternity allowance if you are married to or living together with the child's mother and you take part in the child care responsibilities. You can get paternity allowance even if you temporarily live at different addresses if the separation is due, for example, to work arrangements and not to a breakup of your relationship.

Another requirement for receiving paternity allowance is that you must have been covered by the Finnish social security system for at least 180 days immediately before the expected due date for your child. This residence requirement can also include time during which you have had health insurance coverage in another EU/EEA country, Switzerland, the United Kingdom or Israel. If you move to Finland from another country, see the section From other countries to Finland for more information.

Different types of families

Other situations during paternity allowance