5-speed listening (Maternity Leave - Level 1)

Finland gives parents 7-month parental leave






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Parents in Finland will get more time to spend with their babies. The government will give parents seven months of leave. This is almost double the amount of its current leave. New rules will give 164 days to each parent. Parents can give up to 69 of their days to their partner, so one parent could take nine months of leave. Single parents will get 328 days. Finland's current parental leave gives four months for maternity leave, and two months for fathers.

Finland said the rules are needed to help families. The government explained the importance of the rules. It wants to put the child "at the centre of family benefits, and promote wellbeing and gender equality". It wants to stop falling birth rates. Births in Finland have dropped. Last year saw the fewest babies born in the country since 1868. Sweden has the most leave. It gives each parent 240 days. The USA has no national paid leave for mothers or fathers.

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