Parental allowance and partial parental allowance

The parental allowance system is being reformed - are you on the right page?

The information on this page applies to your family if:

  • the estimated due date of your baby is on or after 4 September 2022
  • you are adopting and the child will be placed in your care on or after 31 July 2022.
Parental allowance if the estimated due date of your baby is before 4/9/2022.

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 a maximum of 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.

Days that can be taken out at the same time

Parents can get parental allowance 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.

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

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. 

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

Other situations during parental allowance

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 when the child is about 9 months old. 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.