Concepts: Statistics on maternity, paternity and parental allowances

Statistical units


Recorded as recipients are mothers and fathers who were paid maternity, special maternity, paternity, parental allowance or partial parental allowance in the reference period.

New and ended payment periods

The payment period begins when a mother first begins to receive allowance payments. The reference year is determined according to the first payment. The maternity and parental allowance period lasts a total of 263 working days (with some exceptions). For fathers, the allowance period begins on the day they are first paid paternity or parental allowance in respect of the same child. Fathers can take paternity allowance until the child reaches the age of two years. Ended allowance periods cannot be analysed prior to that time point.

Days of payment

Days of payment refers to the number of days for which a daily allowance has been paid in the reference period. The allowances are paid for all days of the week except for Sundays and holidays that fall on a weekday.

Benefit expenditure

The benefit expenditure statistics concern the euro amount of the allowances paid in the reference period.

Statistical classifications


Refers to the age of the recipient at the end of the reference year.


For the recipient, the municipality in which he or she was resident at the end of the year. The classification by regions is based on the municipality of residence.

To facilitate regional comparisons, certain statistical data have been adjusted to regional population totals. The divisors used are the female population aged 16–44 years and the male population aged 16–64 years.

The population data are based on Kela’s database of general data, and refer to the situation at the end of the year.

Occupation and professional status

Data on the recipient’s occupation is recorded at the beginning of the payment period for women included in the permanent health insurance sample and for all male claimants.

The 2010 version of the Classification of Occupations was adopted by Kela at the beginning of the statistical year 2014. The National Classification of Occupations 2010 is based on the ISCO-08 classification compiled by the International Labour Organization and adopted by the United Nations. The classification is based on the concept of occupational skill, which comprises two dimensions: skill level and skill specialisation. Between 1988 and 2013, Kela used a classification based on the Nordic Classification of Occupations, which used the branch of industry as the basis of classification.

The occupation that the claimant has most recently held is recorded. If an applicant has not practised any occupation in the five years preceding the time of application, ‘no occupation’ is recorded. In order to qualify as having practised an occupation, the person must have carried out at least three hours of part-time work lasting at least four months in a given year.