Livelihood on Family Leave

The aim of family leaves is to help employees to combine work and family. A parent can go on a leave from work to care for a child, and there are alternatives to the livelihood although the regular salary is no longer paid.

Maternity leave and special maternity leave can only be taken by mothers and paternity leave by fathers. All other family leaves the father and mother can share between them.

Employees have a right to family leaves when the preconditions in law are met and the employee notifies of the leave in due course with regard to the period of notice. As far as the partial child-care leave is concerned, the employer can in specific exceptional situations deny a family leave.

 When?The length of the leaveLivelihood
Maternity leave30-50 working days
(5-8 weeks)
before the expected date of delivery
105 working days i.e.
approx. four months
Maternity allowance*
Special maternity leaveAs soon as the pregnancy is discoveredUntil the maternity leave startsSpecial maternity allowance
Paternity leaveWith a child of the age of 0-2 or when less than two years have passed since adoption54 working days, i.e. approx. nine weeksPaternity allowance*
Parental leaveStarts as the maternity leave ends158 working days, i.e. approx. six monthsParenthood allowance

Child-care allowanceAs the parental leave endsUntil the child turns three years.Child home care allowance
Private day care allowance
Partial care allowanceA parent works maximum 30 hours a week due to child care.With a child under three years.
With a 1. and 2. former.
When a child is under three years old: Flexible care allowance *
When a child is on the 1. and 2. year in school:
Partial care allowance *
Temporary child care leaveThe parent having to stay home when a child under 10 falls illFour days / child / illnessThe collective labour agreement may grant a pay for 1-4 days. Check your work contract!
Absence due to compelling family-related reasonsDue to an unexpected and compelling reason caused by an illness or accidentThe duration has not been determined by law, it is approximately a week, depending on the situation.Ask the employer if the absence is paid.
Absence to care for a family member
or close relative or friend
For special care for a family member or close relative or friend. e.g. palliative careThe duration and other arrangements to be agreed with the employer.Ask the employer if the absence is paid.

* The payment of the flexible child care allowance ends when the child turns three. The parent can continue on the partial child dare leave, but no benefit is paid for it. The right to a benefit exists when a parent is on a partial child-care leave for a child on the 1. and 2. school year. Then the parent is paid a partial child care allowance.

Your employer may pay wages for the duration of maternity or paternity leave. So check your work contract!

The duration of family leave

Consider carefully how long you announce your family leave to be, since the time or length of a family leave cannot be automatically changed after the notification. If you go on a long family leave, it is recommended to agree how you will stay in touch with your supervisor during the leave. As the family leave ends, employees have the right to primarily return to their earlier work. If this is not possible, the employee must be offered a similar job as the previous one, in compliance with the work contract, and if that is not possible either, other work in compliance with the work contract.

Pay on family leave

By law, the employer has no obligation to pay wages for the duration of a family leave, but many collective labour agreements  provide for the wage payment during a leave. You should also ask your supervisor if you can use e.g. annual leave days for your leave, if the period of leave is otherwise difficult to arrange in financial terms.

Check out a quick guide by Kela for families with children >>