Reform aims to encourage both parents to take family leave



The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is preparing to reform family leave under Prime Minister Marin's Government Programme.

The reform will be implemented in such a way that treats everybody equally, including diverse families and takes into consideration various forms of self-employment and entrepreneurship.

Minister Aino-Kaisa Pekonen published the draft government proposal on the legislative reform on 16 February 2021.

The objectives of the reform are:

  • to divide family leave and care responsibilities equally between both parents in a family,
  • to strengthen non-discrimination and equality in working life and 
  • to reduce pay differences between the sexes.

Families will have more opportunities for flexibility and choice in the way they take their family leave. 

According to the Government Programme, in the future both mothers and fathers will be entitled to an equal quota (of months) of family leave. Earnings-related leave allocated to fathers will be increased without reducing the share currently available to mothers. Family leave must also include a period of freely chosen parental leave.

The reform is being prepared in a tripartite working group

The reform of family leave will be implemented in cooperation with social partners. Preparations for the reform will primarily be made by public officials in a tripartite, unofficial working group.

Group composition:

Harri Hellstén, Head of Labour Market Affairs, Federation of Finnish Enterprises
Anne Kiiski, Chief Negotiator, Local Government Employers
Anja Lahermaa, Lawyer, Finnish Confederation of Salaried Employees
Tuuli Glantz, Social Policy Advisor, Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions
Ilkka Oksala, Director, Confederation of Finnish Industries
Lotta Savinko, Manager, Working Life Affairs, Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland (Akava)
Ulla Westermarck, Ministerial Adviser, Office for the Government as Employer
Johanna Aholainen, Benefits Manager, and Tapio Isolankila, Senior Actuary, Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela)
Seija Jalkanen, Senior Specialist for Legal Affairs, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Annika Juurikko, Senior Specialist, Legal Affairs, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Tarja Kahiluoto, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Education and Culture
Outi Luoma-aho, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Finance
Eva Ojala, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

The working group will be chaired by Director Liisa Siika-aho from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Stakeholders in the fields of equality and non-discrimination, as well as child and family organisations, will be consulted during the preparation process.

The reform is estimated to come into force in 2022.