Thursday. 09.04.2020
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Caring for your child at home? This is how it may affect your salary

Employers must pay salaries only for 14 days unless employees are able to work remotely.
Photo: Amber McAuley from Pixabay.
Photo: Amber McAuley from Pixabay.
Caring for your child at home? This is how it may affect your salary

The Finnish Government has closed all the schools because of the coronavirus (koronavirus, in Finnish) epidemic. Kindergartens are still open, but lots of families decided not to send their children in order to reduce the risk of potential exposure to the disease.

If your children are under 10 years old and you have to stay at home to look after them, that may affect your salary. In this article, you will find the relevant information needed in order to access social the benefits offered by the Social Security Institution (Kela).

In general, employees can take a temporary care leave from work in order to stay at home and take care of their children. This temporary care leave may last a maximum of 4 working days. After those 4 days, the temporary care leave becomes unpaid.

But if work is prevented for reasons beyond the control of the employer or the employee, such as the current school closure due to the crisis caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, the employer is obliged to pay for 14 days. After that, the wage payment stops unless the employee can work remotely from home.

Only half of your wage

The entitlement to temporary care leave is based on the Employment Contracts Act. If you use this right, keep in mind that the Finnish Social Security Institution (Kela) does not pay benefits during temporary care leave.

The government measures against coronavirus will continue at least until 16 April. That means if you look after your child at home and if you cannot work remotely, you will only get paid during the first two weeks. In other words, half of your monthly income may vanish.

So, if the government decided to extend the decision to close schools, it would affect especially people who care for their children and cannot telework.