Parental Leave Reforms in Finland 1977–2019 from a Diversity Perspective

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Parental Leave Reforms in Finland 1977–2019 from a Diversity Perspective

  • Anna Moring Network of Family Diversity, Finland
  • Johanna Lammi-Taskula Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland

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Abstract:  In Finland, all parents, regardless of gender, are eligible for parental leave and there are no restrictive eligibility criteria. In practice, however, the statutory leave options are not equally available to all parents. Since the 1970s, steps have been taken in redesigning the leave scheme to make it more inclusive. Several reforms have been made to promote equality, mainly between women and men, but also between diverse families, such as adoptive families, multiple-birth families or same-sex parent families. The ‘demotherisation’ of parental-leave rights has slowly shifted the focus from biological mothers to fathers and non-biological parents. In the most recent reforms, the focus has widened from equality between parents to include equality between children regardless of the form of the family that they are born or adopted into.

Keywords:  demotherisation; family diversity; gender equality; non-biological parents; parental leave; reform



© Anna Moring, Johanna Lammi-Taskula. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.