Did you ever think about parental leave as something that can affect the economy of a country? Finland is showing that this is something that we should be thinking about. It is not just an issue of gender equality, but of raising a healthy family. According to official reports, many dads don’t even take the days they are allowed to be with their newborn children. This is not only unfair to the mother, but to the kid as well. Taking all this into consideration, now the paternity leave in Finland is becoming a strategy to get fathers to spend more time with their children.
Because of the new system that the government announced, the paid allowance will increase to a combined 14 months leave. This means that moms and dads will get to share the same parental leave. With this measure, Aino-Kaisa Pekonen, which is the Health and social affairs minister of Finland, stated that “a radical reform of family benefits” is beginning. It has the aim of strengthening the relationship of parents from the start. However, all this seems costly for the country. How much it would cost having both parents not working while they are being paid?
The paternity leave in Finland is not cheap, but it assures many benefits to its citizens
The government estimates that the changes with the paternity leave in Finland will cost an extra €100m (£84m; $110m). Thus, it will not be cheap. However, it is a step towards their recognition of being a nation that cares about family-friend policies. Despite the costs for the country, it is important to consider how the resolution will affect families all over Finland.
It can be very stressful taking care of a newborn alone. If both parents can share a good period of time where they can engage solely with the task of parenting, the burden will be easier to carry. Besides, if both parents get the chance to stay at home with paid allowance, the familiar finances will not be so shaken. While many can consider the new paternity leave something bad, it may actually help citizens to engage with their jobs. A happy employee can bring good and unexpected results.
Finally, if you consider how Finland deals with poverty, employment, and other issues, the paternity leave in Finland is not something unexpected. After Denmark and Sweden, Finland is the most socially just country of the European Union. It is also the third (considering the rich countries) the dedicates the most to policies that benefit people living in poorer nations. Dealing with issues of gender equality and fairness would not be different in their own country. To read more articles on how different nations deal with family policies, keep reading our posts!