How the amount of parental allowances is determined until 31 December 2019

If your right to an allowance for parents has started before 31 December 2019, the instructions on this page are for you.

The maternity, special maternity, paternity and parental allowances are all calculated in the same way.

The allowances are usually calculated on the basis of earned income for the previous year, as confirmed for tax purposes. If you do not have earned income, you get the allowance at the minimum rate. The allowances can also be calculated in the following three ways:
  • on the basis of some other benefit you received earlier, provided that you have been a student, in rehabilitation, or unemployed, and also provided that the allowance, calculated this way, would be larger than if it were calculated on the basis of your earned income.
  • on the basis of the same earnings as an immediately preceding allowance if the expected due date of the next child occurs before the second-youngest sibling is 3 years old.
  • on the basis of your earned income for the 6 months preceding the allowance if your income is at least 20% higher than the income confirmed for tax purposes.
  • all allowances paid for one and the same child are calculated on the basis of the same income, such as when a person first receives maternity or paternity allowance and later begins to receive parental allowance.

Maternity, paternity and parental allowances are affected by your circumstances and your income. The same formula is used to calculate all of the allowances.

Maternity, paternity and parental allowances are paid for working days. Working days are Monday to Saturday, with the exception of official holidays.

If you have had no income from work, you will be paid the allowance at a minimum rate.

  • The minimum rate in 2019 is €27.86 per working day.
  • In 2020 the minimum rate is €28.94 per working day.
Annual earnings (€): gross earnings minus deductions Maternity, paternity or parental allowance, € per working day (before taxes)
Examples of the rates of maternity, paternity and parental allowances calculated on the basis of earnings (2019)
0-11,943 27.86
15,000 35.00
17,500 40.83
20,000 46.67
30,000 70.00
40,000 91.19
50,000 104.53
60,000 116.99

Earnings include salaries, income under the Self-Employed Persons' and Farmers' Pensions Acts, and income from self-employment. Such income as dividends are usually not considered earnings.

When completing a claim via Kela's online customer service system, you can see your income as confirmed for tax purposes.

Increased rate of payment for maternity allowance

Maternity allowance is paid at an increased rate of up to 90% of earnings for the first 56 days of payment. The increased rate of payment is only available to those whose allowance is based on earnings or insurable income under the Self-Employed Persons' Pensions (YEL) Act or the Farmers' Pensions (MYEL) Act.

Allowances which are paid for the same child but during different parental leave periods

All allowances paid for one and the same child are calculated on the basis of the same income, such as when a person first receives maternity or paternity allowance and later begins to receive parental allowance. For example, when a father receives paternity allowance in several different periods, the paternity allowance paid during the latter periods is calculated on the basis of the same income as the initial allowance even if the father's income increases or decreases in the meantime.

Having a child before the second-youngest child is 3 years old

If you have a child before your second-youngest child is 3 years old, you can get maternity, paternity and parental allowance on the basis of the same work income as was used with the second-youngest child. The requirement for this is that the expected due date precedes the second-youngest child's 3rd birthday. If the earlier allowance was calculated on the basis of a preceding benefit and not on the basis of earnings, this method of calculation cannot be used.

Similarly, adoptive parents can get a maternity, paternity or parental allowance on the basis of a preceding allowance if they take an adopted child into their care before three years have passed since an older adopted child was placed in their care.

This rule can be used whenever a child is born before an older sibling has reached the age of 3 years. For example, if parents have their first child in 2008, their second in 2011 and their third in 2014, the allowance for all three children can be calculated on the basis of the allowance paid for the first child.

When earnings used to calculate a previous maternity, paternity or parental allowance are used to determine a new allowance, the earnings are adjusted by wage coefficients for the year in which the entitlement for the allowance begins and the preceding year. This may mean a change in the rate of the allowance, even if the earnings used as the basis for calculating the allowances are the same.

When claiming a maternity, paternity or parental allowance, you do not need to tell Kela that you want it to be paid on the basis of your earlier income. This information will be available to Kela automatically when dealing with your claim.

Payment

Maternity and special maternity allowances are paid in arrears every 25 working days. The initial maternity allowance instalment, however, is for 30 days.

Parental allowance is paid in arrears every 25 working days. However, the final instalment of the parental allowance is paid after the allowance period is over.

Paternity allowance is paid in arrears for one or several paternity leave periods at a time.

Visit Kela's online customer service to check the next payment date. Log in using your online banking user ID and password or a mobile certificate.

Calculation formulas for maternity, paternity and parental allowances

Maternity, special maternity, paternity and parental allowances are calculated based on your earnings and using the same calculation formula. They are paid for working days. Working days are Monday to Saturday, with the exception of official holidays.

Annual earnings (€) Calculation formula for the allowance (€ per working day)
Maternity, paternity and parental allowances based on earnings
up to 11,942 27.86 e
11,943 - 37,861 0.7 x annual earnings : 300
37,862 - 58,252 88.34 + 0.40 x (annual earnings - 37,861) : 300
over 58,252 115.53 + 0.25 x (annual earnings - 58,252) : 300
Annual earnings (€) Calculation formula for the allowance (€ per working day)
Maternity allowance based on earnings payable for the first 56 working days
up to 9,288 no allowance based on earnings
9,289 - 58,252 0.9 x annual earnings : 300
over 58,252 174.76 + 0.325 x (annual earnings - 58,252) : 300


Maternity, paternity or parental allowance for persons who are employed until 31 December 2019

If you are employed, your maternity, paternity or parental allowance is usually determined on the basis of your earnings for the previous year as confirmed for tax purposes, which for example in 2019 means the 2017 earnings, and not on the basis of your current earnings.

When calculating the allowance, any work-related expenses are deducted from earnings. This includes

  • the cost of commuting between home and work
  • trade union dues and unemployment fund membership fees
  • a deduction corresponding to contributions to earnings-related pension insurance and unemployment insurance
  • the basic deduction from earnings and any other work-related expenses.

If your income has increased by at least 20%

If your income has increased by at least 20% your maternity, paternity or parental allowances can be calculated on the basis of your earnings for the 6 months preceding the allowance. This means that they are at least 20% higher than the earnings confirmed for tax purposes, multiplied by a wage coefficient and minus any work-related expenses.

The online customer service system shows you the level of earnings you must have in order for the allowance to be paid to you based on your earnings for the preceding 6 months. The information is shown on the claim.

The 6-month income includes regular periodic payments of income. The annual income is calculated by multiplying the 6-month earnings, including fringe benefits, by two. In addition to wages and salaries, regular income can include annually paid compensations such as holiday pay.  One-time payments or incidental compensations do not count as regular income.

If you wish to claim based on your income for the preceding six months, Kela checks the income details for the 6-month period from the national incomes register. If the information in the national incomes register is insufficient, Kela will request further information directly from the employer. Your employer can provide this information via the online service for employers, via the national incomes register or by completing a form (Y 17e). When completing the claim, you can state any commuting expenses or trade union/unemployment fund membership dues you have paid.

NB. If you take out paternity leave in several periods, you can request that the allowance is based on the income for the preceding 6 months only for the first period of paternity leave. The paternity allowance for later periods of paternity leave for the same child is calculated on the basis of the same income as for your first period of paternity allowance, although your income may have changed after that.

Short periods of employment or fluctuating income

Your earnings can also be estimated for a period shorter than 6 months if you have had income for only part of the 6-month period for example because of a change of occupations or similar reason. If you have not had income for the entire preceding period of 6 moths because of illness, unemployment or other comparable reason, you can declare your income for the periods in which you have worked. However, you can only declare income for the year in which payment of your allowance begins and the preceding calendar year, for a total period of 6 months.

If you have had short periods of employment during the most recent year and have been unemployed and looking for a job between such periods of employment, your maternity, paternity or parental allowance can also be calculated on your earnings from these periods of employment which must be at least one month in length. Your allowance can be calculated on the basis of at least one month's earnings if you have started a new job or returned to your job with the result that your period of employment would have lasted at least 6 months had your new allowance period not begun.

Maternity, paternity or parental allowance for persons who are self-employed until 31 December 2019

For self-employed persons, the amount of the allowance is based on their taxed earnings or their most recent earnings.

If you are self-employed and were insured under the Self-Employed Persons' (YEL) or Farmers' (MYEL) Pensions Act during the tax year in question, your allowance will be determined on the basis of your insurable income from self-employment. Allowances that start in 2019 are based on insurable income earned in 2016, which is adjusted by a wage coefficient.

If you were employed outside your business during the tax year, any income from that employment will be included in your taxed earnings in addition to your insurable income under the YEL or MYEL Act.

Self-employed persons who are not insured under the YEL or MYEL Act

If you are not required to take out YEL or MYEL insurance, your maternity, paternity or parental allowance is paid based on the income you have declared to the tax authorities (e.g., based on earned income or a salary). The income is multiplied by a one-year wage coefficient. If you have no earned income or salary, the allowance will be paid to you at the minimum rate.

Part-time self-employed

If you are self-employed on a part-time basis (meaning that you are both self-employed and working for another employer), both your salary income and the insurable income under the YEL or MYEL insurance are taken into account when calculating your allowance.

If your income has increased by at least 20%

At your request, the allowance due to you can be calculated on the basis of the insurable income under the Self-Employed Persons’ (YEL) or Farmers’ (MYEL) Pensions Act that you have earned during the 6 months preceding the payment of the allowance, provided that such income, as annualised, is at least 20% higher than the earned income for which you were taxed. Kela will take your earnings for the 6 months immediately preceding the maternity, paternity or parental allowance period and multiply them by two to arrive at an annual income.

If you have taken out a voluntary or mandatory YEL or MYEL insurance, Kela calculates your allowance based on your insurable earned income under the YEL or MYEL Act. This means that you do not have the option of choosing whether to declare, as the 6-month income, your earned income under the pension insurance or the salary earned from self-employment. The allowance will be based on the insurable income under the YEL or MYEL Act.

Self-employed persons who are insured do not have declare their YEL or MYEL income to Kela, because the information is available to Kela from the pension providers.

If you are not required to take out YEL or MYEL insurance, your earnings from self-employment in the most recent complete accounting period (i.e., salary and share of profits) will be considered as your earned income. However, for self-employed persons working in a limited company, only the salary is considered as earned income (and not for example dividends).

Maternity, paternity and parental allowance for grant and scholarship recipients until 31 December 2019

If you have a research or arts grant or scholarship and have MYEL insurance with the Farmers' Social Insurance Institution (Mela) based on the grant or scholarship, your maternity, paternity or parental allowance is calculated on the basis of your earned income under the MYEL insurance.

If you are not required to take out insurance, your allowance is based on the taxable grant or scholarship. If your grant or scholarship is not subject to tax (for example because it is small), it is not used as the basis for calculating the allowance.

Maternity, paternity and parental allowances in other situations until 31 December 2019

The maternity, special maternity, paternity and parental allowances are all calculated in the same way. They are usually calculated on the basis of earned income for the previous year, as confirmed for tax purposes.

If you do not have earned income, you get the allowance at a minimum rate. The allowance can also be calculated based on a preceding unemployment benefit, student financial aid benefit or rehabilitation allowance, if that would result in a larger allowance than a calculation based on earned income.

Payment to unemployed

  • If you have been paid an unemployment benefit for at least one day during the 4 months preceding the maternity, paternity or parental allowance, your allowance will usually be 86% of the preceding benefit.
  • If you have received an adjusted unemployment benefit where your pay has been taken into consideration, the amount of parental allowance due to you is calculated based on the full amount of your unemployment benefit.
  • If you have received labour market subsidy which has reduced some other benefit (e.g. child home-care allowance) that you have received, or which has been affected by your capital income, the amount of parental allowance due to you is calculated based on the full amount of the unemployment allowance paid to you.

Not considered as part of the unemployment benefit are maintenance compensations, the increased earnings-related amount of the earnings-related unemployment allowance, the earnings-related amount of transition assistance, the additional amount or supplemental transition assistance of the basic unemployment allowance, or the additional amount of the labour market subsidy. However, child increases are taken into consideration.

If you had earned income before becoming unemployed, you can declare it for the purpose of calculating your maternity, paternity or parental allowance.  If your employer is unable to report pay details to Kela, you can submit a salary certificate yourself. You can declare your earned income for up to 6 months. It must have been earned in the year in which payment of the allowance begins or the preceding calendar year.

Payment to persons in rehabilitation

If you were paid rehabilitation allowance for at least one day during the 6 months preceding the maternity, paternity or parental allowance, your allowance will be at least equal to the rehabilitation allowance, not including any supplementary amounts.

Payment to students

For students, parental allowance can be calculated either on the basis of earnings or study grant, depending on which of them is higher. If parental allowance is paid on the basis of earnings, the taxed earnings for the last complete tax year (in 2019, this means the earnings for 2017) or alternatively the earnings during the preceding six months, are checked in the case of students who have been working regularly alongside their studies and whose earnings are 20% higher than their taxed earnings for the last complete tax year.

If you have no earnings at all, the allowance is paid on the basis of the study grant. You are paid the maternity, paternity or parental allowance at least at the minimum rate.

If you study during the maternity or parental leave and get financial aid, you will be paid the maternity, paternity or parental allowance at the minimum rate regardless of the basis of calculation which would otherwise have been used.

If you have received several different benefits

If you have received several of the above mentioned benefits, your allowance is determined based on the most recent benefit prior to the beginning of the maternity, paternity or parental allowance period.

Persons performing conscript or alternative civilian service

Conscripts, reservists in refresher training and persons performing alternative civilian service can take paternity leave and get a paternity allowance from Kela. The paternity allowance will be paid at the minimum rate.

You must participate in the care of your child to qualify for the allowance. This means that you must be on paternity or other leave of absence from the service. Ask the Finnish Defence Forces or the civilian service how long you can be on paternity leave.