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Pregnancy allowance and special pregnancy allowance

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Payment of pregnancy allowance starts before the estimated due date of your baby, i.e. from the date when you start your pregnancy leave. In order to get pregnancy allowance, you must have stopped working.

Who can get pregnancy allowance?

Pregnancy allowance is only payable to the pregnant parent and cannot be shared between the parents.

You can apply for pregnancy allowance once you are 154 days into your pregnancy. You will get a pregnancy certificate from the antenatal clinic. You must attach the certificate to your application. 

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

How to claim pregnancy allowance.

For what period is pregnancy allowance paid?

Entitlement to pregnancy leave starts 30 working days before the estimated due date of the baby. You can also agree with your employer to start your pregnancy leave later, but no later than 14 working days before the estimated due date. If you are not employed, you can choose to start your pregnancy leave 14 to 30 working days before the estimated due date.

Kela pays pregnancy allowance for 40 working days regardless of the actual date of birth of the baby. Pregnancy allowance days must be taken consecutively and cannot be postponed until later. If your baby is born before you have started your pregnancy leave, payment of pregnancy allowance will start immediately on the working day following the day the baby is born.

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.

Special pregnancy allowance

You can get special pregnancy allowance if you have to stay off work before you start getting actual pregnancy allowance. This applies if you are exposed to one of the following at your workplace:

  • Chemical substances
  • Radiation
  • Infectious disease.

You can get pregnancy allowance if the risk factors are not avoidable at your workplace and your employer is not able to arrange other tasks for you during your pregnancy. A further requirement is that you are fit for work.

Special pregnancy allowance is paid until your actual pregnancy allowance period starts. Special pregnancy allowance does not count against the actual pregnancy allowance days to which you may be entitled.

Payment of special pregnancy allowance ends if your working conditions are made safe and you can return to work, or if your employment ends. While you are paid special pregnancy allowance, you cannot work for another employer outside weekends. 

If you are paid salary during your special pregnancy leave, Kela will pay the pregnancy allowance to your employer.

How to claim special pregnancy allowance.

Diverse families

No pregnancy allowance or special pregnancy allowance is paid to an adoptive family, but the family is entitled to parental allowance.

The pregnancy allowance is not increased or extended, even if more than one baby is born into the family at the same time.

In the case of multiple-birth pregnancies, the birthing parent often goes on sick leave before pregnancy leave starts, even if the pregnancy has been problem-free. If you have to go on sick leave during your pregnancy, consult your employer to find out if your sick leave will be paid or unpaid. If you are paid salary, Kela will pay the sickness allowance to your employer. If you will not be paid salary, you can apply for sickness allowance from Kela.

Pregnancy allowance can only be paid to the parent giving birth.

The family structure does not affect the pregnancy allowance.

Single parenting does not affect the length of the pregnancy allowance period or the amount of the allowance. Pregnancy allowance can only be paid to the parent giving birth.

Other situations during pregnancy allowance

If your baby is born more than 30 working days before the estimated due date, you will be paid pregnancy allowance starting from the first working day following the day of the birth.

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.

If there is only one parent eligible for parental allowance, that parent is entitled to use all the additional days.

You can get pregnancy allowance also when your pregnancy has lasted at least 154 days and your pregnancy ends in miscarriage or it is terminated.

Pregnancy allowance is paid for 40 working days. In addition, you are entitled to parental allowance for 65 consecutive working days immediately after the pregnancy allowance period.

However, pregnancy or parental allowance is not paid if you are working.

Pregnancy allowance is not paid for days when you are working. Although pregnancy allowance is not paid, the pregnancy allowance days are still running and the days cannot be saved and used later. 

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 you are a family caregiver working under a service contract. This does not, however, apply to professional family care.

If you go to work while on pregnancy leave, you should cancel your pregnancy allowance days in the OmaKela e-service. This will ensure that you are paid the correct amount of pregnancy 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.

You can get pregnancy allowance even though you are studying during your pregnancy. Receiving study grant payments does not prevent payment of pregnancy allowance.

You need not notify Kela that you are studying.

You are not entitled to pregnancy 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 pregnancy allowance during that period.

However, if you take paid annual leave during your pregnancy leave, your pregnancy allowance days will keep running and you will not be able to postpone those days to be taken out later.

Report changes in the OmaKela e-service. This will ensure that you are paid the correct amount of pregnancy allowance, and that you will not need to pay any of it back.

Pregnancy allowance is paid only to the pregnant parent, it cannot be transferred to the other parent even if you fall ill during your pregnancy leave.

If you are unable to care for your child because you are ill, this may affect the other parent’s entitlement to parental allowance. In such a situation, you should contact Kela.

You may also be eligible for various sickness benefits that provide compensation for costs and loss of income due to illness. You cannot, however, get pregnancy allowance and sickness allowance for the same period. You may be eligible for rehabilitation allowance, but the amount of the allowance will be deducted from your pregnancy allowance.

If you are employed and fall ill while receiving pregnancy allowance, you can ask your employer if your pregnancy or parental leave will be converted into sick leave. This may affect the salary possibly paid for the period of absence from work.   

You cannot get pregnancy allowance and parental allowance paid for another child at the same time. You can choose for which child you seek a benefit.

Notify your employer

If you are working, you must inform your employer of your pregnancy leave no later than two months before the start of your leave. Also find out in good time if your employer will pay you salary during your pregnancy leave. You will need this information when you apply for pregnancy allowance.

If you are paid salary during your pregnancy leave, Kela will pay the pregnancy allowance to your employer. Your pregnancy allowance is not affected by any payments you may get from your employer for unused annual leave or work done before the pregnancy leave.

After pregnancy leave

After your pregnancy leave you can take parental leave and get parental allowance. The other parent who is staying at home caring for your child can also take parental leave. You can also work part-time and get partial parental allowance.

Read more

Last modified 3/11/2023

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