The maternity leave begins before the expected date of birth for your child. You can take a maternity leave 30-50 working days or about 5-8 weeks before the expected due date. You can choose when to start the leave.
Maternity allowance during the maternity leave
When your maternity leave starts you will begin to get maternity allowance from Kela. It is paid for a total of 105 working days, or about 4 months. Working days are Monday to Saturday, with the exception of official holidays.
Inform your employer of your maternity leave at least 2 months before the leave starts. Find out if your employer will pay you a salary during the maternity leave. You will need this information when claiming maternity allowance. Apply for the maternity leave at the latest two months before the expected date of birth for your child. If you are paid a salary during the maternity leave, Kela pays the allowance to your employer.
Entitlement to the maternity allowance
You become entitled to the maternity allowance once you are 154 days into your pregnancy. You must have been entitled to social security coverage in Finland for at least 180 days immediately before the due date of birth of your child. Periods of insurance spent in other EU/EEA countries, Switzerland or Israel may count towards the 180-day requirement. If you move to Finland from another country, see the section Moving to Finland for more information.
When to start the maternity leave?
You can use the calculator linked below to check the start and end dates of your maternity leave. You will need this information when claiming maternity allowance.Link to the calculator
If your child is born prematurely, you will begin to get maternity allowance from the first working day following childbirth. Maternity allowance is usually paid for about 4 months. In this case, the parental allowance, which follows the maternity allowance, is paid longer than normally.
If the pregnancy is terminated, there is entitlement to the maternity leave if the pregnancy had lasted for more than 154 days.
If you become ill and are unable to look after your child, the maternity allowance can under certain circumstances be paid to the father in the form of a parental allowance. The father can get parental allowance after a waiting period, which usually consists of the day on which you became ill and the following 9 working days. If paid to the father, the parental allowance does not reduce the mother's parental allowance entitlement following the maternity allowance. The father's parental allowance is based on his own income.
You can work during your maternity leave and receive a maternity allowance from Kela. The maternity allowance is paid at a minimum rate (EUR 28.94 per day) for the days on which you work. Working on Sundays or other holidays does not affect your maternity allowance, because it is only paid for working days (Mon–Sat).
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 your family member
- farming or forestry work
- independent scientific work and holding an office of trust (one which is related to one's principal employment or comes with monetary compensation).
- working as an informal or family caregiver
If you are a full-time student and get maternity allowance, it is paid to you at a minimum rate (EUR 28.94 per day) on top of any student financial aid you may receive. If you do not get financial aid and are not in paid employment, the maternity allowance is paid at its full rate.
If you start work or become a student, notify Kela immediately. This will ensure that you are paid maternity allowance correctly and that you will not need to pay any of it back. Access Kela's e-service to report the days on which you work, or call the customer assistance number for families with children. You need not tell Kela your salary information or about working on Sundays or other holidays.
If you are paid maternity allowance earlier than normally, you cannot work (except on Sundays or other holidays, because maternity allowance is not paid on those days), or study on a full-time basis.
Working during a paid maternity leave
If you work during the maternity leave and your employer continues to pay you a salary, the allowance to which you are entitled is paid at a minimum rate (EUR 28.94 per day) for the days on which you work. If you work for another employer, the allowance is paid at the minimum rate to the employer that pays you a salary during the maternity leave.
It might also be the case that you have two employers who both pay you a salary during the maternity leave. If you perform work for one of them, the maternity allowance is paid at the minimum rate to the employer that you did not work for.
After the maternity leave
After the maternity leave you can take a parental leave and get parental allowance. Alternatively, the father can take the parental leave, or you can divide it between yourselves.
After the parental leave you can take a child care leave and get child home care allowance. You can also return to work on a part-time basis and get flexible care allowance.