Family leave reform proposal submitted to parliamentary review

The Government’s proposal for a family leave reform will next be taken up by Parliament. The reform is planned to go into effect in August 2022.

The Government has finalised its proposal for a family leave reform. The proposal will next be taken up by Parliament. The proposal was put out for comments, resulting in some amendments which have been incorporated into the final proposal. A draft proposal was reviewed by the Council for Regulatory Impact Analysis.

Kela has been an active participant in the background group set up for the reform and is getting ready to implement the forthcoming legislative changes. To that end, Kela is updating the administrative system used to manage parental benefits and the e-service for individual customers. Kela is also taking steps to inform customers about the reform.

Johanna Aholainen, head of benefits for families with children at Kela, says that Kela is happy to see the important family leave reform proceed according to schedule.

Parents seek information as they plan their family

Family benefits is a topic that Kela’s customers are typically very active about. Customers look for information about family benefits and consider their options.

Aholainen says that Kela is already receiving questions from customers about the forthcoming reform. Employers as well are an important source of information, because early on in the pregnancy, many parents will turn to their employer, Aholainen says.

Parents with children born on both sides of the reform cutoff may have to deal with two generations of legislation, because parental benefits are determined differently for children born under the current legislation and for those born after the reform. However, parents should not be concerned about this.

“We will provide information to the public on our communication channels and answer customers’ questions. We are also planning online seminars for our partners where we will go through the new benefits”, Aholainen says.

Kela expects that the first applications from customers that will be reviewed under the new legislation will arrive in May 2022. The new parental benefits apply to parents whose baby is due on or after 4 September 2022, i.e., after the planned legislation has become effective.

At this stage, Kela can inform the public about the changes planned for family leaves and benefits, but details about the benefits and the application process will not be available until the laws have been finalised.

Family leave reform: Overview of planned changes (stm.fi)

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