Family leave is a parental right

Stipulations on family leaves are provided in the Employment Contracts Act. The stipulations on family leave secure an employee's entitlement to maternity, special maternity, paternity, parental and childcare leaves and absence from work due to an unforeseeable or compelling family reason. Family leave is a subjective right if related preconditions are met. An employee may also be entitled to absence from work due to other family reasons.
Statutory family leaves are still often associated with women. On an annual basis, only a few male The Finnish Business School Graduates members report a longer family leave.  We encourage men to take family leaves and to hold on to their right to assume responsibility for their families and spend time with their children.

About to take a family leave?

  • An employee has a right to take family leave. As a main rule, the duration of these leaves is tied to the maternity, special maternity, paternity and parental benefit periods as referred to in the Sickness Insurance Act.
  • For a maternity, parental or paternity leave period, earnings-based daily allowance or minimum daily allowance is paid.
  • For more detailed information on daily allowance periods, see the Kela (The Social Insurance Institution of Finland) web page.
  • Childcare leave can be taken until the child turns three.
  • Family leaves also include part-time and temporary childcare leaves.
  • Read more on maternity leaves and family leaves intended for baby care.

What should you take into account before taking a family leave?

  • When taking a family leave, you must inform your employer about it in due time. If an employee abides by the notification period, his/her employer cannot refuse a family leave.
  • An employer is not obliged to pay salary to an employee during various family leaves or a compelling family reason.
  • However, many collective agreements contain stipulations according to which an employer is liable to pay salary for a specific maternity leave period or the same salary for 1–3 working days if an employee's child under 10 years of age suddenly falls ill.
  • Paternity leave salaries for six days have also become more common in collective agreements.
  • Read what to do before taking a paternity leave

Employer needs to be notified about a family leave in due time

  • When a senior clerical employee plans to take a family leave, he/she must notify his/her employer about it two months before taking the leave at the latest.
  • The notification must mention both the start and end dates of the family leave.

Also notify the end date of the family leave

  • When employees take maternity leaves, they often only inform the employer about the start date of the family leave. They may completely neglect to notify the end date, or their notification may remain at a highly general level.
  • This leaves the employer in a difficult position in terms of work arrangements and may complicate the employee's return to his/her former duties.
  • An employer often has to make work arrangements due to a senior clerical employee's family leave either by dividing the employee's duties temporarily to his/her colleagues or by hiring a substitute for the position. Organisational changes may also take place during a family leave and affect each employee's duties in one way or another, including employees on family leaves.
  • If an employee has neglected to inform the employer about the end date of his/her family leave, the employer is unable to take the returning employee adequately into account in a prospective organisational change.

What if you wish to return to work sooner?

  • An employee on family leave has no statutory right to interrupt his/her family leave without a particularly weighty reason.
  • In practice, a weighty reason refers to an extreme tragedy in the family.
  • Since an employee is only entitled to interrupt his/her family leave in exceptional cases, it is highly unclear when a senior clerical employee's family leave ends unless the end date has been conclusively notified at the start of the leave: will it end as notified by the senior clerical employee or is the employer entitled to delay the date of his/her returning to work by six months, for example, based on not being able to anticipate the situation and therefore arrange the tasks in any way.

What if you wish to extend your family leave?

  • If you change your mind during a family leave and wish to extend the leave from the end date you notified at the beginning of your leave, you can continue the family leave by submitting a notification two months before the notified end date of the leave at the latest.

Discount on your membership fee during family leave

  • When on a maternity or parental leave, you do not have to pay The Finnish Business School Graduates' full membership fee for the unsalaried period.
  • In order to claim the membership fee discount, you must produce us with a copy of the maternity or parental allowance decision you have received from Kela (The Social Insurance Institution of Finland).
  • See how to claim discount