Maternity, paternity or parental allowance for persons who are employed

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 2016 means the 2014 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.

Your allowance will be smaller than your salary. Generally the maternity, paternity or parental allowance will be equal to about 70% of your earnings. However, the exact percentage depends on the amount of your earnings. The allowances can also be increased by certain set amounts.

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.

Your employer can report your 6-month income via the online service for employers or on form Employer's pay report (Y 17e). When completing the claim, you can state any commuting expenses or trade union/unemployment fund membership dues you have paid.

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.

Allowance based on short periods of employment

Marita begins to get maternity allowance on 1 July 2016. She has the option of declaring her income for the 6-month period from 1 January to 30 June. Because she was unemployed and seeking employment between 1 April and 30 June, the period of unemployment is disregarded and the 6-month period is extended to cover the period in which she was employed. Marita worked between 1 October 2015 and 31 December 2015 and further between 1 January 2016 and 31 March 2016. For the period from 1 October 2015 to 31 March 2016 the allowance is calculated on the basis of earnings (6-month earnings multiplied by two). Had Marita only worked from 1 October 2015 to 31 December 2015, her allowance would be calculated on the basis of these three months, and the 3-month income would be multiplied by two.

Extending the income review period

Merja goes on maternity leave on 2 August 2016. She has been unemployed and looking for a job for the last 12 months (1 July 2015 to 1 August 2016). She has income that she can declare to Kela for the period 1 January 2015 to 30 June 2015, because she was employed during that period. She can no longer declare income she earned in 2014.