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Parental allowance and partial parental allowance

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In order for you to get parental allowance, you must care for your child at home and not go to work. Taking care of your child means that you are responsible for the day-to-day care and wellbeing of your baby or infant.

  • Birthing parent: You can take parental leave and get parental allowance after the end of the pregnancy allowance period. After the birth of your baby, you will receive pregnancy allowance for as many days as there are days left over from the 40 working days that you are entitled to.  If the baby is born after the estimated due date, you can get parental allowance immediately after the pregnancy allowance period has ended, even if the baby has not yet been born.
  • The baby’s other parent: You can get parental allowance starting from the day your baby is born.

Who can get parental allowance?

You can get parental allowance if you are the parent and the legal guardian of a child. A parent may be the biological or adoptive parent of a child. One or two parents can be eligible for parental allowance.

You can also get parental allowance if you acknowledged parentage at a municipal antenatal clinic before the baby was born, or if you, after the baby is born, acknowledge parentage in a declaration made before the child welfare officer. If so, you can get parental allowance for a maximum of four months starting from the birth of the baby, even if it has not yet been confirmed that you are the other parent of the child.

In certain special situations, parental allowance may be paid to the birthing parent, even if that parent is not caring for the child.

In order to get parental allowance, you must be insured under the Finnish Health Insurance Act.

For what period is parental allowance paid?

Parental allowance for one child is paid for 320 working days. If a child has two parents who are entitled to parental allowance, the days of parental allowance are divided equally between the parents, i.e. they will both be entitled to 160 working days.

Working days are Monday to Saturday, with the exception of midweek holidays. A midweek holiday is a holiday that falls on some other day than a Sunday.

You can get parental allowance flexibly at the times of your preference until the child turns two.

If you are employed, your employer may have the right to restrict your periods of parental leave. If your employer agrees, you can take your parental allowance days in short periods or even as individual days.

Example - Splitting parental leave into shorter periods

Ella and Ari share their parental allowance days equally. Ella first takes 130 working days of parental leave and then returns to work while Ari stays home taking care of their baby. When Ari’s parental leave ends, Ella, as she has agreed with her employer, takes her remaining 30 days of parental leave in the form of individual days weekly before the child turns two. She does a four-day work week and stays home on parental leave one day a week to take care of the child.

Days that can be taken out at the same time

Parents can get allowances for parents at the same time for a maximum of 18 working days if they are taking care of the child, and

  • they are both on parental leave
  • one of them is on pregnancy leave and the other one on parental leave
  • one of them is on parental leave and the other one on partial parental leave.

In certain situations, allowances for parents may also be paid to several persons who are participating in the care of the child. Read more about turning over parental allowance days to someone else.

Example - Days taken out at the same time

Nella’s and Verner’s baby is born when Nella has been on pregnancy leave for 34 working days. Verner has agreed with his employer that he can take his first period of parental leave as soon as the baby is born. He will take three weeks, i.e. a full 18 working days of parental leave together with Nella. Nella can take the remaining 6 days of pregnancy allowance and 12 days of parental allowance at the same time as Verner.

Verner will have 142 and Nella 148 full days of parental allowance to take each on their own.

Giving up parental allowance days for the benefit of someone else

You can give up and turn over a maximum of 63 working days of your quota of 160 parental allowance days to another person who is caring for the child. You can give up and turn over days to

  • the child's other parent
  • your partner who is not the child’s parent
  • the partner of the child's other parent
  • another person who is the child's legal guardian.

A partner here refers to a person married to, cohabiting with or living in a registered partnership with the child’s parent.

The birthing parent can turn over parental allowance days in the application she files before or after the birth of her child. The other parent cannot give up parental allowance days until after the child is born. A parent must first give up a certain amount of parental allowance days before another person can claim them. 

Read more on giving up parental allowance days for the benefit of someone else.

Partial parental allowance

If you take care of a child part of the day and work part-time at the same time, you can apply for partial parental allowance. Your daily working time must be no more than 5 hours per day.

If you work for longer than that, you are not entitled to parental allowance. The maximum daily working time applies to you if 

  • you are an employee 
  • you are self-employed
  • you have more than one part-time job either as an employee or as self-employed.

If you are employed, you must have concluded an agreement on part-time work with your employer. 

Example of partial parental allowance

Vendela has a baby with her partner Susanna, and they want to take care of the baby in turns. They have concluded an agreement with their employers to work part-time and they will also take days of partial parental leave. Vendela is the birthing parent and Susanna has been declared the second parent.

After the pregnancy leave, Vendela is on parental leave all day on Mondays, which means that she can apply for parental allowance. She works from Tuesday to Thursday up to 5 hours in the mornings and is on partial parental leave in the afternoons taking care of the child. She can apply for partial parental allowance for these days. On Fridays, Vendela works all day, and parental allowance will not be paid. Susanna works from Tuesday to Thursday up to 5 hours in the afternoons and is on partial parental leave in the mornings taking care of the child. She can apply for partial parental allowance for these days. On Fridays, Susanna is on parental leave all day, which means that she can apply for parental allowance. On Mondays, she works all day, and parental allowance will not be paid.  

Example of a situation where you cannot get partial parental allowance

Sisu always works all day on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. On other days, he takes care of the baby at home. He is paid salary for the days he is working. For the days when Sisu is not working, he can apply for full parental allowance. Sisu cannot get partial parental allowance, because it is only applicable in situations where the daily working hours do not exceed 5 hours, regardless of how many days a week you work.

When you take one day of partial parental leave, the number of your parental allowance days will decrease by half a day. For example, if you are on partial parental allowance for 10 working days, your days of partial parental allowance will decrease by 5 working days.

Parents can also get partial parental allowance for the same period of time. If both parents take partial parental leave, this does not count against the days you take together with the other parent. The days that the parents take at the same time will, however, affect the days you take together with the other parent if one parent takes a day of leave with full parental allowance and the other parent takes a day of leave with partial parental allowance. The amount of the partial parental allowance is half of the full parental allowance.

Diverse families

Adoption applicants and adoptive parents are entitled to parental allowance if they have been granted permission to adopt. You can get parental allowance as soon as you start parental leave after the child has been placed in your family, even if parentage of the child has not yet been confirmed. 

You can get parental allowance flexibly at the times of your preference until two years have passed since the adopted child was taken into care.

In intra-family adoptions, the second parent can get parental allowance when his or her parentage has been confirmed. 

If you give birth to or adopt more than one child at the same time, you will receive additional parental allowance for 84 working days for the second and each additional child. For example, for twins, parental allowance is paid for 404 working days (320 + 84) and for triplets 88 working days (320 + 84 + 84). 

Parental allowance days are divided equally between both parents also in multiple-birth families. In the case of twins, both parents get parental allowance for 202 working days and in the case of triplets for 244 working days.

Days that can be taken out at the same time

In multiple-birth families, parents can get parental allowance at the same time for a longer period than in single-child families, if they care for the children together. In addition to the usual 18 working days, the maximum number of parental allowance days or pregnancy and parental allowance days taken out at the same time is 90 working days for the second and each additional child. For example, parents of twins can get parental allowance at the same time for up to 108 working days (18 + 90) and parents of triplets for 198 working days (18 + 90 + 90).

Giving up parental allowance days for the benefit of someone else

You can turn over all the parental allowance days that you are entitled to on the basis of the birth or adoption of more than one child at the same time. In practice, this means that a parent of twins can, for example, turn over to the other parent or to his or her partner who is not the parent of the children, a maximum of 105 working days (63 + 42) and a parent of triplets can turn over 147 working days (63 + 42 + 42).

Family structure does not affect parental allowance. Read more about parental allowance for adoptive families or multiple-birth families. 

You can use all 320 days of parental allowance yourself, and also any additional days that you are entitled to if your baby is born prematurely or if you have twins or more. Of these 320 days, you can turn a maximum of 126 parental allowance days over to another person. Read more about giving up and turning over parental allowance days to someone else.

A child has only one parent who is entitled to parental allowance if

  • the other parent has not been confirmed
  • the other parent is not the child’s legal guardian
  • the other parent is not insured under the Finnish Health Insurance Act
  • the other parent is, due to illness or injury, unable to take care of the child and cannot therefore be paid parental allowance.

You can turn over up to 63 parental allowance days before childbirth or soon thereafter. The remaining 63 days cannot be turned over until you have used up all of your parental allowance quota, i.e. 97 days.

Other situations during parental allowance

If your baby is born more than 30 working days before the estimated due date, you can get parental allowance for an extended period. The number of additional days is calculated based on how many working days earlier than 30 working days before the estimated due date the baby was born. Both parents can use half of these additional days of parental allowance or give up and turn over some or all of the additional days to another person. Read more about giving up and turning over parental allowance to someone else.

For example, if the baby is born 42 working days before the estimated due date, the parents will get parental allowance for a total of 12 working days longer. The days are divided equally between both parents, i.e. they both get 6 additional working days of parental allowance.

Parental allowance is not paid for days when you are working more than 5 hours. As parental allowance is only paid for weekdays (Mon - Sat) you can, however, work on Sundays or midweek holidays. You can also work part-time and take partial parental leave.

Working means any gainful employment as well as such activities as

  • telecommuting from home or being on call or standby
  • working in a company owned by yourself or a member of your family
  • farming or forestry work
  • independent scientific work and holding an office of trust, when it is related to one's principal employment or comes with monetary compensation.

However, you are not considered to be working when

  • you act as an elected official within the meaning of the Local Government Act (unless you are a full-time or part-time official within the meaning of section 80 of the Local Government Act)
  • you are an informal caregiver or a family caregiver working under a service contract. This does not, however, apply to professional family care.

Notify Kela

If you go to work while being on parental leave, you should cancel your application for parental allowance in the OmaKela e-service. This will ensure that you are paid the correct amount of parental allowance, and that you will not need to pay any of it back. You need not notify Kela of any salary details or about working on Sundays or midweek holidays.

The working days do not count against the number of days of parental allowance available because parental allowance is not paid for these days. The days that you have cancelled will be available to you later.


You are not entitled to parental allowance during statutory annual leave or paid holidays under an employment contract. During such a period, your employer will pay you salary, which is why you do not incur any loss of earnings from taking care of your child. If your leave or absence from work is unpaid, you can get parental allowance during that period.

If you take annual leave while on parental leave, you should discontinue your parental leave and start a new parental allowance period after your annual leave.

If you take paid leave during parental leave, you must cancel your parental allowance days in the OmaKela e-service. This will ensure that you are paid the correct amount of parental allowance, and that you will not need to pay any of it back.

You can get parental allowance even though you are studying while being on parental leave, as long as you are able to take care of your child while studying. Receiving study grant payments does not prevent you from getting parental allowance.

If you study full-time, i.e. you do not care for your child at the same time as you are studying, you should report your active days of study in the OmaKela e-service. This will ensure that you are paid the correct amount of parental allowance, and that you will not need to pay any of it back.

If, despite studying, you are able to take care of your child, you do not have to notify Kela of your studies.
 

You cannot get parental allowance for two different children at the same time. You can choose for which child you apply for the benefit. Otherwise, there are no restrictions concerning the use of parental allowances payable on the basis of different children. 

Notify your employer

If you are working, you should notify your employer that you will be taking parental leave 2 months before the start of the leave, at the latest. This applies if the period of parental leave that you are taking exceeds 12 working days. If the period of leave you are taking is shorter, you should inform your employer 1 month before the start of the leave. Also find out in good time whether your employer will pay you salary during your parental leave. You will need this information when applying for parental allowance. If you are paid salary during your parental leave, Kela will pay the parental allowance to your employer. 

After the end of parental leave

You can send your child to municipal or private day care from the beginning of the month when the child reaches the age of 9 months. The child can also still be cared for at home.

If one parent has used all of his or her own parental allowance days in one consecutive go before the child starts day care and the other parent intends to use the parental allowance days that he or she is entitled to sometime later, the family can be granted child home care allowance. You can get child home care allowance after 160 working days have passed since the birth of the child. The child will then be about 6.5 months old.

Child home care allowance is not paid for periods shorter than one month. The allowance period does not, however, have to start from the beginning of a calendar month. Child home care allowance and parental allowance cannot be paid for the same period for the same child. However, they can be granted for the same time for different children. Read more about the effect of other benefits on the child home care allowance. 

Example of how parental leave and child home care allowance can be divided into periods

Viivi was on parental leave taking care of the family’s child until her parental allowance days ended on 23 May. The father, Mikael, will not take out his days of parental leave and stay home to care for the child until autumn. Viivi takes care of the child over the summer being on child care leave for four months until 22 September. During this period she gets child home care allowance. Mikael takes parental leave starting from 23 September, when Viivi returns to work.

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Last modified 27/10/2023

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