First applications for the new type of parental allowances introduced in the family leave reform will go live on 1 May 2022 – use an online calculator to plan your parental leave

The upcoming family leave reform will bring changes to the duration and timing of parental leaves and parental allowances. The changes introduced in the reform apply to parents expecting a child on or after 4 September 2022. Applications for the new parental allowances will become available starting from 1 May 2022. Parents can use online calculators to plan their family leaves.

Three new parental benefits known individually as special pregnancy allowance, pregnancy allowance and parental allowance are introduced in the family leave reform. The allowances are available to parents expecting a child on or after 4 September 2022 as well as parents adopting a child who will be placed in their care on or after 31 July 2022. Applications for pregnancy and parental allowances for the birthing parent can be submitted starting 1 May 2022, while applications for special pregnancy allowance and parental allowance for the other parent will be accepted starting 1 August 2022. Applications can be submitted via the OmaKela e-service (in Finnish and Swedish).

Possibility to share the parental allowance entitlement equally between the parents brings more flexibility

Parents have a total parental allowance entitlement of 320 working days. If a child has two parents, the days are divided equally between the parents, i.e. they will both be entitled to 160 working days. The pregnant parent is entitled to an additional 40 days of pregnancy allowance before the payment of the parental allowance is set to begin. Parents can agree to give up as many as 63 days of their entitlement to the other parent or some other person who provides care for the child.

Parental allowances after reform. Parents have a total parental allowance entitlement of 320 working days. The pregnant parent is entitled to an additional 40 days of pregnancy allowance. The days are divided equally between the parents, i.e. they will both be entitled to 160 working days. Parents can give up as many as 63 days of their entitlement to the other parent or some other person who provides care for the child.”

The introduction of a parental allowance and partial parental leave brings more flexibility by enabling better integration between work and family leaves and allowing parents to work part time, for instance. One partial parental allowance day counts as a half day against the parents’ parental allowance entitlement.

As before, parents will be able to be on leave at the same time for up to 18 working days. Parental allowance days can be used at any time before the child reaches the age of two or before two years have passed since the child was adopted. 

According to Kiti Laitinen, Kela’s head of family benefits, applications for the benefits available under the new rules can be made starting from May. Parents can use a new online application form that guides them through the application process. New visual content and calculators will be introduced to simplify the customer service process. According to Laitinen, Kela will provide information about the benefits also in new maternity packages and in a plain-language brochure for families with children.

Plan and discuss your family leaves at home and at the workplace

An online calculator for pregnancy and parental allowance days (in Finnish and Swedish) makes it easier to plan family leaves. The calculator can be used out find out when pregnancy and parental allowance are available. That information can be useful for employees when discussing parental leave arrangements with their employer.

The family leave reform also has implications for workplaces and maternity and child health clinics. Kela has produced communication materials for employers and partner organisations.

Milla Vainio, a communications specialist at Kela, says that maternity and child health clinics as well as workplaces have a major role in the family leave reform, because they serve as a conduit for information to families about family leaves. Family leaves continue to be shared unequally between the parents. Milla Vainio says that the family leave reform does not involve Kela alone but that changes are required across all levels of society in order to ensure that family leaves are shared more equally in future.

Share your joy – a public information campaign across multiple channels

A public information campaign on the family leave reform will be launched at the start of May. The campaign will go live on several channels and aims to raise awareness among parents who have or want to have children about the family leave reform and the increased flexibility that it provides for families.

The current legislation on family leaves and the new law will exist side by side until the end of 2024. The current legislation applies to parents expecting a child before 4 September 2022.

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