Good news! Finland becomes the first country to introduce a 7 month parental leave for both parents
While parental leave is a hotly debated topic worldwide, a large part of the leave is only allowed to mothers and not to fathers, which indicates a large gap. The role that dads play in the early days is as important as moms and studies say that parents who take at least two weeks of paternity leave or more are likely to remain involved in child care activities, such as feeding and change of diapers Paternity leave and parental involvement in child care can also relieve the pressure of mothers, who are often the primary caregivers.
Finland, which has been making news for its progressive focus on many issues, has become the first country in the world to offer equal parental leave for mothers and fathers. By approving a parental gender neutral policy, the new license package offers 7 months of paid leave for both parents.
What does the package imply?
The license package means that, in general, both parents will get almost 14 months of leave to spend time with their baby. The policy, which will take effect around September of next year, has been implemented to eliminate gender bias. Until now, Finland allowed about 4 months of maternity leave, while parents had about 2-3 months of leave. In addition to that, parents have the option of obtaining another six months of leave, which can be shared with each other, when necessary.
Under the new policy, parents will also be allowed the option of transferring some of the licenses to their partner, if they are required to work, or in cases where one of the parents must spend more hours. The new parental policy has also been hailed as revolutionary, since it allows single parents to take the entire 14 months if they wish.
The new policy made many people happy and invited positive reactions from parents on Twitter.
Here’s why this is a welcome move
Speaking about the introduction of the much needed reform, one of the ministers said:
“We want parents to take more advantage of the available shared parental leave. If we look at the research, we are pretty sure that the connection between the baby and the father is really important: the first years are vital and we believe in investing in that. ”
Finland, with many of its policies, has been rated as one of the happiest countries in the world. Finland has also been consistently ranked as one of the best places to raise children.
Low childbirth costs, government assistance and support policies for parental leave make it a good place for children. Not only that, currently, the government of Finland allows new parents to receive free baby products (including bed, clothes, cot, toys and books) for children, reducing the burden of spending for parents. The country also allows parents the option to take advantage of free universal daycare.
What do you think of this reform? Do you think that policy can also be implemented in India?