A1 Journal article (refereed)
Fathers’ Leave Take-Up in Finland : Motivations and Barriers in a Complex Nordic Leave Scheme (2019)

Eerola, P., Lammi-Taskula, J., O’Brien, M., Hietamäki, J., & Räikkönen, E. (2019). Fathers’ Leave Take-Up in Finland : Motivations and Barriers in a Complex Nordic Leave Scheme. Sage Open, 9(4), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244019885389

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Eerola, Petteri; Lammi-Taskula, Johanna; O’Brien, Margaret; Hietamäki, Johanna; Räikkönen, Eija

Journal or series: Sage Open

eISSN: 2158-2440

Publication year: 2019

Volume: 9

Issue number: 4

Pages range: 1-14

Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc.

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244019885389

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/66178


Despite being the first country in the world to introduce paternity leave in 1978, Finland’s current national leave scheme is complex with regard to incentivizing fathers’ take-up. Taking the unique Finnish leave scheme as a case example, this article examines fathers’ motivations and barriers to leave. Although research on fathers’ take-up of leave in divergent leave policy contexts has increased dramatically, fathers’ motivations and barriers to leave have remained underresearched. The article reports on a survey sample of 852 Finnish fathers of infants who were taking paternity, parental, and other forms of leave, drawn from the Population Register Center. Results show that less than 20% of fathers report taking no leave, with more than 80% taking some form of leave. A multinomial logistic regression analysis indicates that father’s work, partner’s education, and family income, along with father’s wish to take a break from work and wish to facilitate mother’s return to work or studies, are the key characteristics and motivations associated with fathers’ take-up of leave. The most common barriers to fathers’ take-up of leave were related to the family’s economic situation and the father’s job. It is suggested that decreasing maternalism in the leave scheme, by extending investment in fathers’ individual well-paid leave weeks, will also help promote greater gender equality for working parents in Finland following the path of Nordic neighbors.

Keywords: paternity; paternity leave; parental leave; parenthood

Free keywords: fatherhood; paternity leave; parental leave; Finland

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Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2023-10-01 at 14:55