Finland to grant fathers parental leave

Paternity leave is to be extended to fathers in Finland in a bid to get dads to spend more time with their children.

In addition, paid allowances between parents will be increased to a combined 14 months.  This translates to 164 days per parent.

Currently, maternity leave in Finland is 4 and a half months while fathers are given two and a half months until the child turns two.

The Nigerian government increased parental leave to four months in 2018. The Nigerian parliament rejected the paternity leave billed when it was proposed in 2018.

Currently, only a few private sector organisations like Access Bank and Guinness Nigeria approve paternity leave for their male staff in Nigeria.

The BBC reports Finland’s health and social affairs minister Aino-Kaisa Pekonen as telling reporters that a radical reform of family benefits had begun.

Mr. Pekonem explained that the development is aimed at strengthening the relationship of parents from the start.

On top of that, another six months’ parental leave can be shared. However, on average only one in four fathers take what they are given.

Under the new parental leave, each parent would receive 6.6 months’ leave (164 days under Finland’s six-day-week benefit system) while pregnant women would get an additional month’s allowance.

Parents would also be allowed to transfer 69 days of their quota while single parents would be allowed to use both allowances.

Here are 5 ways to adjust to working after a maternity leave

In January, the Finnish Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, said her country still had some way to go to achieve gender equality. He complained that fewer fathers were spending time with their children when they were young.

Anne Lise Ellingsaeter, a University of Oslo professor who led a Nordic inquiry into parental leave, told the BBC that the Nordic countries had been leading the way on giving fathers entitlement that could not be transferred to the mother.

The EU is also heading that way, with a 2019 directive giving member states three years to provide each parent with at least four months’ leave, including two months that cannot be transferred.