Finland to give new fathers 7 months of paternity leave
As most men who've recently had a baby know, there's not a lot of thought given to paternity leave in the Middle East and the rest of the world. The UAE officially gives new dads only three days off as paternity leave and while that number may seem miniscule it's better than the US which gives no time off. While many think men taking paternity leave counts as holiday, new fathers know it is anything but that.
Now, acknowledging that both men and women deserve equal maternity and paternity leave, Finland's government led by 34-year-old Prime Minister Sanna Mari plans to give new fathers the same amount of paid time off work as new mothers. A full seven months off to take care of their new child.
According to reports, the new policy gives parents 164 days leave each to take whenever they want, but they are allowed to transfer 69 days.
CNN reports that it will go into effect in fall 2021.
"The model guarantees the child a place at the centre of family benefits and promotes wellbeing and gender equality," said Aino-Kaisa Pekonen, minister of social affairs and health, in a statement.
Most countries in the European Union are also more or less moving towards equal leave for mums and dads. The BBC reports that a 2019 directive is in motion giving member states three years to provide each parent with at least four months' leave, including two months that can not be transferred.
While there's a while to go to see if this will have a positive impact on family life, research suggests that the new policy could positively impact new mothers and improve their physical and mental health after a child is born.