Tiia Tuomi, the University’s Director of Human Resources, is pleased with the recognition and calls the reform an important boost to ensuring family-friendliness:
“I’m proud that universities have taken the lead in implementing equality in professional life, which must support staff, even in times of personal life changes. These ideas are inspiring, and it is great to accept the recognition,” Tuomi says.
In a press release (in Finnish), Trade Union Pro explains that the award was given not only for the reforming of family leave clauses in the collective agreement, but also for the way in which the agreement was concluded. Both parties made constructive and mutually beneficial solutions to reach a consensus.
Trade Union Pro presents the equality award to recognise and highlight actions and practices that enhance equality in the job market.
The family leave reform came into effect in August this year. Following the reform, each parent is entitled to 160 days of parental allowance, in addition to which the pregnant parent is entitled to an additional 40 days of pregnancy allowance before the payment of the parental allowance is set to begin. The agreement on the family leave reform constitutes a significant investment in an equal university community that considers different life situations.
In accordance with the new collective agreement, the University of Helsinki now pays both parents’ salaries for the first 32 weekdays of the parental allowance period as well as the birthing parent’s salary during their pregnancy leave:
“Legally, the family leave reform applies to everyone, but the payment of salaries at the University of Helsinki was implemented in an equal manner without any reduction in the share of the birthing parent,” Tuomi says.
Finnish Education Employers (FEE): Yliopistoja koskeva työehtosopimusratkaisu hyväksytty (‘Collective agreement proposal for Finnish universities approved’, article in Finnish only)
Negotiation Organisation for Public Sector Professionals JUKO: Yliopistojen palkansaajille työehtosopimus – työmarkkinoiden edistyksellisin perhevapaauudistus (‘Collective agreement reached for university employees – The most progressive reform of family leave on the labour market’, article in Finnish only)