Reader ‘s opinion Family care leave is not just hospice leave

The government’s proposal is to limit family care leave to the care of close relatives or close relatives living in the same household.

Helsingin sanomat newspaper news (2.4.) From family care leave related to family leave reform as work leave, which is based on the escort care situation of relatives. The ability of loved ones to be more flexibly involved in convalescent care is an expected improvement, but it does not tell the whole picture of the free use needs.

Family care leave creates the means for everyday help and care, not just hospice care. The proposal states that the reason may be the need for a sick or disabled relative to assist in basic activities if it has not been possible to obtain external assistance.

According to the Finnish Welfare 2014 survey, due to old age, disability or illness, relatives are most often targeted at their own or the spouse’s parents (51.4 per cent), relatives other than close relatives or friends (16.7 per cent), or grandparents (10.9 per cent). For example, children (4.4 per cent) or a spouse (4.0 per cent) are less often targeted.

Most of the aid is thus linked to a key trend in society, namely aging. Thus, family care leave can meet the challenges by making it easier to take close care while working if there are no services or the presence of a relative is necessary. Yet in family leave reform, the needs of carers for the elderly have remained in the margins.

The government’s proposal is also limiting family care leave to the care of close relatives or close relatives living in the same household. The second largest target of aid – other relatives or friends – is being left out. There is no corresponding limitation in the current family leave for carers.

Finnish family care is built through an actual care relationship, not through a close relative or living in the same household. Therefore, this limitation, which resembles the practices of southern European family care, should not be introduced to Finland in the family leave reform.

Miika Kataja

project manager

Association of Carers

Reader opinions are speeches written by HS readers, selected and delivered by HS editorial. You can leave a comment or read the principles of writing at

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