According to the BBC, Finland’s new government led by Sanna Marina has announced plans to give all parents the same parental leave, in a push to get fathers to spend more time with their children and this they anticipate to roll out by the fall of 2021
Paid allowance will increase to a combined 14 months, which works out as 164 days per parent. This will be a major step in the right direction in a country making huge progressive strides.
Sweden which happens to be neighbors to Finland, has Europe’s most generous system of parental leave with 240 days each after a baby’s birth.
Finland says it wants to “promote wellbeing and gender equality”.
Health and social affairs minister Aino-Kaisa Pekonen told reporters that “a radical reform of family benefits” had begun, with the aim of strengthening the relationship of parents from the start. And ensuring that both parents get to spend more time with the children is definitely a major way to show it.
“Above all, a change towards family-friendliness is needed in workplace attitudes, in society as a whole, and within families. I therefore invite employers to join us in this change and to look for means by which it is genuinely possible to combine working life and family.” She noted
Finland which is being seen as a progressive nation is now looking to increase for parents to spend more time with their kids too
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.
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said last month that her country still had some way to go to achieve gender equality, and complained that too few fathers were spending time with their children when they were young.
Portugal already has a gender-neutral system, with 120 days paid at 100% of salary and another optional 30 days at 80% of salary.
Finland has been governed by a five-party coalition and each party is led by a woman ever since December. Ms Marin, 34, has said it is “not that big a deal” in Finnish terms to have women in power.
The government estimates that the changes will cost an extra €100m (£84m; $110m).
Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Estonia and Portugal were praised in a Unicef report last year for offering the best family-friendly policies.
Author: Kano Anafora
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