Finland’s new government has announced plans to give all parents the same parental leave, in a push to get fathers to spend more time with their children.
This is the second of Finland’s new 34-year-old prime minister’s proposals that has caught worldwide attention.
In January, Sanna Marin proposed putting the entire country on a four-day workweek consisting of six-hour workdays, in a bid to transition the country to what she called “the next step for us in working life”.
As for the latest announcement, BBC reported that Finland wants to "promote wellbeing and gender equality”. Therefore, the country’s paid allowance for parental leave will increase to a combined 14 months - this works out as 164 days per parent.
Under the current system in Finland, maternity leave is 4.2 months while fathers are given 2.2 months until the child turns two. On top of that, another six months’ parental leave can be shared.
However, on average only one in four fathers take what they are given. The current plans now talk only of parental leave.
Each parent would receive 6.6 months’ leave (164 days under Finland’s six-day-week benefit system) and pregnant women would get an additional month’s allowance.
Parents would be allowed to transfer 69 days of their quota. Single parents would be allowed to use both allowances.