Families in Focus

The negotiations of this spring are done on the universities’ part, and an agreement has been reached. The family leave reform was packaged into the collective agreement, but it did not come free of charge. The birthing parent’s pregnancy leave has a three-month employment requirement, and those who resign will pay for the family leave with their holiday compensations.  

In the local government sector’s rejected proposal for a settlement, the family leave reform would have been funded on top of the rest of the agreement. Time will tell how the issue of family leave will be tackled in the negotiations of other sectors. 

With the family leave reform, the legislator wanted to increase equality, and it can be said that this is what has now been agreed. The non-birthing parent’s right to parental leave was increased significantly. All employees have the right to be able to focus on caring for a child, and it is also important that the non-birthing parent uses this right. 

Will every manager, department head and dean support their employees’ rights to family leave?

The attitudes of working life do not, however, always keep up. Will every manager, department head and dean support their employees’ rights to family leave? Or will the implication be that for the sake of career progress it would be better to keep leaves to a minimum? And will the work community be solely happy for their colleague’s family leave?

It is necessary to ensure that all research, teacher, and specialist career models take family leaves into account and that the roles of both parents are recognised.

In specialist roles, covering for longer absences is not straightforward.

In specialist roles, covering for longer absences is not straightforward. A colleague will rarely be able to be a direct substitute, and the colleague may not have the opportunity to do so in the framework of their own working plan, except on top of their own work. Managerial work will be ever more significant.  

Units’ practices may sometimes be limiting factors. Would it be possible to organise a course in another way instead of saddling someone else with it, if its permanent teacher is unable to teach it? It is essential that the manager and the work community plan the work together.  

It is also necessary to think that if the teaching of someone who is on family leave will be transferred to someone else, it should be compensated separately, assuming that it is genuinely not possible to remove something from the working plan.

Translation: Elina Siltanen   

Recommended articles

What does the campus of the future look like?

Remote work is here to stay, but the importance of meeting in person is also understood better than ever. The various changes to university campuses are generating conversations about the kind of facilities that would best serve the scientific community and students.