When a baby is born, the mother and father are entitled to benefits to help look after the baby.
What benefits can the mother and father claim?
Mothers who have just had a baby are entitled to a maternity grant (äitiysavustus) and maternity leave (äitiysvapaa), and fathers to paternity leave (isyysvapaa). In addition to these, either parent can take parental leave (vanhempainvapaa).
Mothers receive a maternity grant when they are pregnant either in the form of a maternity package or as a tax-free lump sum of EUR 170.
Maternity leave begins at the earliest 50 working days, and at the latest 30 working days, before the estimated due date. When maternity leave begins, Kela (Finnish Social Insurance Institution) will pay maternity allowance (äitiysraha) for a duration of 105 working days.
Mothers can claim a special maternity allowance (erityisäitiysraha) if, during the pregnancy, they have had to be absent from work before the actual maternity allowance period if:
- their work involves exposure to chemical substances, radiation or infectious diseases
- risk factors are unavoidable at work, and
- the employer cannot organise any other duties during the pregnancy.
Special maternity allowance does not reduce actual maternity allowance. It is paid until the maternity allowance period begins.
Fathers can, after the birth of the child, take paternity leave for a maximum of 54 working days. Of this, the father can be at home at the same time as the mother for a maximum of 18 working days, i.e. approximately three weeks. During paternity leave Kela pays a paternity allowance (isyysraha).
Parental leave begins after maternity leave. Parental leave can be taken by either the mother or the father. Kela pays parental allowance (vanhempainraha) for 158 working days. If you receive pay during maternity, paternity or parental leave, Kela will pay a daily allowance for this time to your employer. Mothers who raise a child on their own can receive parental allowance for additional 54 working days. The extension is available only if paternity has not been confirmed and the mother does not have a spouse or partner who is entitled to paternity allowance.
You can claim special care allowance (erityishoitoraha) if you, as the parent of a seriously ill or disabled child under the age of 16, have to be temporarily absent from work without pay to take part in treatment or rehabilitation arranged for your child.
If you adopt a child from abroad, you can claim an adoption grant from Kela to meet some of the cost of the adoption. You can make the claim as soon as the international adoption agency has identified a child under 18 years of age for placement in your care and the Finnish Board of Inter-Country Adoption Affairs has authorised the adoption.
To qualify for the adoption grant, you must be covered by the Finnish social security system. The adoption grant is a tax-free lump sum payment.
What conditions do I need to meet in order to receive the benefits?
In order to be able to receive the benefits, you must live in Finland or be covered by the Finnish social security system.
The right to the maternity allowance begins when the pregnancy reaches 154 days in duration. It is a requirement that the mother has been covered by the Finnish social security for at least 180 days immediately before the estimated date of delivery. This can also be calculated according to an insurance period in another EU or EEA country.
What am I entitled to and how can I claim?
The amounts for parental allowances, i.e. maternity allowance, special maternity allowance, paternity allowance and parental allowance, are calculated in the same way, but the size of the daily allowance varies according to the period.
Parental allowances are determined on the basis of the annual income which is calculated for a reference period of 12 calendar months prior to the calendar month that precedes the start of the entitlement to parental allowance.
The daily allowance can be paid according to the preceding benefit if you have been in rehabilitation, studying, ill or unemployed. The daily allowance can, in certain situations, be paid at the same level as previous parental daily allowance.
If the claimant does not have any working income, the daily allowances will be paid at the minimum levels. Daily allowance amounts are easy to find on Kela's website www.kela.fi/web/en.
The maternity grant is non-taxable income. Parental allowances are taxable income.
Kela: Finnish Social Insurance Institution.
Useful forms and links
- Application, parental benefits for mothers
- Application, parental benefits for fathers
- Maternity allowance calculator (in Finnish only)
Know your rights
More information about the rights guaranteed to you by law can be found via the links below. The websites are not maintained by the European Commission and they do not represent the Commission's views.
The Commission's publication and website:
Who should I contact?
You can apply for parental benefits online: www.kela.fi/asiointi
You can also contact Kela's customer services: