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Finland gives mothers and fathers equal right to parental leave


A new  family law in Finland redefines the length of parental leave and the amount or duration of childcare benefits. By Kathrin Glosel. 


For the first time, both mothers and fathers are entitled to parental leave of the same length.  


Both parents receive childcare allowance for 160 days each, which adds up to almost a year. In addition, there is a maternity allowance.


Taken together, parents can therefore stay at home with their child for about 14 months.


One parent can transfer up to 63 reference days to the other.


The overall short duration of parental leave—and therefore egalitarian sharing between both parents—is common in Scandinavian countries.


Fathers caring for babies and young children are strongly encouraged by the parental leave regulations in Sweden: 480 days (i.e., about 68 weeks) parents in Sweden can stay at home with their children, but the time must be divided: At least 60 days must be taken by the second parent if the full length is to be used.


As a result, around 90 percent of fathers in Sweden take maternity leave—regardless of their occupation or income level.


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