Parents in Finland Get Seven Months of Paid Parental Leave, Regardless of Gender

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The struggle to balance work and family knows no borders, but some countries definitely have more supportive policies for working parents than others. In Finland, parents of any gender will now get the same amount of leave, thanks to a new parental leave policy that goes into effect in 2021. Moreover, single parents will have the option to take the equivalent of two parents’ leaves.

Finland’s woman-led government announced the new policy in early February 2020. Before this reform, women in Finland received double the amount of leave that men received. Families received a total of 11.5 months.

Under the new policy, parents will be given 164 business days, or about seven months, of paid leave regardless of their gender. That’s a total of 14 months of paid leave for each family.

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If one parent needs more leave than the other, they can transfer up to 69 days of their leave over. And if a parent is single, they can take all 14 months of paid leave themselves. That way, they still get the same amount of leave as a two-parent household.


The policy doesn’t stop there. Parents ALSO get pregnancy leave, which allows pregnant parents to take off one month before parental leave starts.

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The discrepancy between maternal and paternal leave is evident in many countries, including the U.S. There is no countrywide paid family leave policy in the U.S., and companies often offer limited leave policies for women only.

What do you think about this new policy? Would it work in the U.S.?

Let us know in the comments!