The University of Helsinki has invested in the welfare of its employees by offering preventative occupational health services and general medical care with the Mehiläinen Group. UniSport, the exercise services provider owned jointly by the University of Helsinki and Aalto University, offers a wide range of low-cost exercise services on all campuses. For more information, see the UniSports Web site.
To support the balance of work and family, Finnish legislation guarantees employees time off when they have small children. Maternal leave is approximately four months, typically beginning one month before the estimated date of the birth. At the University, the first three months of maternal leave are paid time off. Parental leave, approximately six months in duration, follows maternal leave and may be used by either parent. A separate paternal leave of approximately 9 weeks is allocated for fathers. The University pays the salary for six days of this period. For the unpaid period of maternal, paternal or parental leave, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (KELA) pays an allowance to the parent who stays at home caring for the child. After these leave periods, one of the parents may stay on child home care leave until the child is three years old. It is also possible to use part-time child care leave to work fewer hours until the child finishes his or her second year of comprehensive school.
In Finland, children have the right to municipal day care once parental leave ends. Private day-care centres, some of them international, exist in addition to the municipal centres.
In Finland, children begin the 9-year comprehensive school when they are seven years old. In addition to Finnish and Swedish schools, the Greater Helsinki area features a few international schools which use English, French, German or Russian as the language of instruction. The Finnish school system is internationally recognised and esteemed, and education is free of cost on all levels. Similarly, there are no tuition fees associated with University studies.
In Finland pensions of university employees are covered by two state pension systems, depending on the employee’s year of birth. The amount of earnings-related pension is affected by the working career, earnings and the pension accrual rate, which varies for people of different ages. Pensions are funded through contributions from the employees and the employer. The employer deducts the employee’s pension contribution from his or her gross salary in connection with the payment of the salary and pays it along with the employer contribution to the pension company. The amount of the contributions is based on a fixed percentage of the employee’s gross salary (in 2014 the employee’s contribution is 5.55–7.05 % depending on the employee’s year of birth). The pension contributions are not returned if the person moves from Finland. The Finnish earnings related pension is paid out to all eligible employees regardless of their place of residence.