The government of Finland has announced plans to give fathers the same parental leave as mothers to enable them spend more quality time with their family.
Aino-Kaisa Pekonen, the country’s minister of social affairs and health, disclosed the new policy, titled ‘Family leave reform’ in a statement.
According to the minister, the reform was essential to further increase gender equality in families while also ensuring their well-being.
The reform is also aimed at bringing about “flexibility and attitudes and working life” as well as “development of the service system”
The new reform would also see an increase in the total amount of families’ daily allowance days from the current 11.5 months to more than 14 months.
Under the new arrangement, both parents would receive an equal quota of 164 daily allowance days which is approximately 6.6 months.
The reform also provides opportunity for a parent to transfer a certain amount of his or her own parental allowance days to the other parent or spouse.
The statement added that a pregnant parent will have a separate daily allowance period of approximately one month before the parental allowance period starts under arrangement previously known as “pregnancy allowance.”
Similarly, a single parent would have access to the daily allowance quotas for both parents while multi-birth families will be taken into account in the amount of parental allowance days.
“The reform will be a major change in attitudes, as it will improve equality between parents and make the lives of diverse families easier,” the statement read in part.
“The reform will support all kinds of families and ensure equal leaves for children regardless of the form of the family.”
The new reform is an improvement over the present arrangement in Finland which stipulates 4.2 months for maternity leave and 2.2 months until the child turns two.
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