Liisa: Senior Secretary in the Department for Social and Health Services

Liisa Holopainen. Vaaleatukkainen nainen mustassa takissa nojaa leikkipuiston liukumäkeen. Taustalla sataa lunta ja näkyy puu sekä valkea-punaista rakennusta.

Liisa Holopainen drafts acts concerning family benefits. Her work is closely related to her own life, as she is on part-time maternity leave. Holopainen works four days a week and is on maternity leave one day of the week.

What do you do in practice?

- Drafting legislation is my main task. I have prepared, for example, the Government proposal on flexible maternity leave allowance, which became an act in force since the beginning of 2014. I mainly work on family benefits. I also participate in preparative work for family care legislation. In addition, in my job I prepare statements and serve as an expert on various working groups and boards. I also respond to citizens’ contacts.

How does your job affect people’s everyday lives in Finland?

- My job in drafting legislation can be very concretely linked to people’s everyday lives. For example, the aim of the flexible allowance is to enable people to reconcile work and family life more flexibly. My work with family benefits feels concrete anyway with two small children. My work is very closely linked to my own life.

Why did you want to work for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health?

- Before this, I used to work for the Ministry of Transport and Communications, which gave me a good idea of what it is like to work at a ministry. However, I was interested in children’s and families’ affairs, and at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, I can participate in promoting these matters. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health feels like an interesting, fast-paced place to work anyway.

What is it like to work for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health?

- There are great experts here that are easy to work with. People are easy to approach in general. Everyone works together here, even though sometimes people can get busy.

How well does the ministry take the reconciliation of work and free time into account?

- Very well. I am on part-time maternity leave myself, with a shorter work week. I have one day off in a week to spend with my children. I feel more in control of my life with the opportunity of taking one day off for maternity leave.

What kind of skills and personality traits are useful in your work?

- You have to be able to talk to everyone and deal with the media. As an expert, you obviously have to be certain about things and about what you can say about matters that are still in preparation. You also have to be up-to-date and know what is going on in your field, because sometimes you have to prepare matters at short notice. It is important to be able to write clearly and languages are also an advantage.

What is the best thing about your job?

- The fact that I can see the effect of my work in people’s lives and that it really matters. There is also variety in my job, so I don’t always know in advance what projects lie ahead. I like work to be a little hectic. I also have great colleagues, of course.


Name: Liisa Holopainen
Job: Senior Secretary in the Department for Social and Health Services
Education: Master of Laws
Duration of service at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health: at the ministry since 27 August 2012
Prior experience: Ministry of Transport and Communications, 19 Mar – 24 Aug 2012. As a student: Asianajotoimisto Heini Kotamäki, 2009-2010; Kajaani District Court, 2008; Nordea Bank, 2007; Asianajotoimisto Marjo Kiukkonen Ky, 2006.