What are the family leaves to take care of a baby?

The employee has the right to take family leaves. As a rule, their duration is based on the maternity, special maternity, paternity and parental allowance periods as stipulated in the Health Insurance Act. During the maternity, paternity and parental leave the employee receives either an earnings-based allowance or a minimum allowance.

Maternity leave is the first family leave

  • Maternity leave may start at the earliest 50 working days and at the latest 30 working days before the expected due date. You can choose when to start your maternity leave. Days from Monday to Saturday are counted as working days, excluding midweek holidays.
  • The duration of maternity leave is 105 working days (6 working days a week), i.e. approximately 4 months.
  • When you start your maternity leave, you receive maternity allowance from Kela. If you are paid by your employer during the maternity leave, Kela will forward your maternity allowance to your employer.
  • You have to notify your employer of your maternity leave at the latest two months before its beginning.

Parental leave is meant for looking after the baby

  • After the maternity leave, any of the two parents may take parental leave to look after the baby. Its duration is 158 working days (6 working days a week), i.e. approximately 6 months.
  • Parental leave may be shared between the mother and the father.
  • Parental allowance period finishes when the child is approximately 9 months old.
  • In case of multiple birth, parental leave is extended by 60 working days.
  • Also parents of an adopted child have the right to family leave if the child is less than 7 years old when placed in care.

Paternity leave is father’s leave

  • The maximum duration of paternity leave is 54 working days, i.e. approximately 9 weeks (6 working days a week).
  • Father can take his leave at the same time with the mother; 1–18 working days during the mother’s maternity or parental allowance period, for example, at the time of birth of the baby.
  • The remaining paternity leave can be taken when the parental allowance period has come to an end.
  • Paternity leave can be taken at one time or periodically.
  • All paternity leave must be taken before the child turns two.
  • Kela pays paternity allowance during your leave. If you are paid by your employer during the leave, Kela forwards your allowance to your employer.
  • You have to notify your employer of your leave two months before its start at the latest. If you take 12 working days or less, you have to notify your employer one month before the leave.