Image size 26 Kb Prime Minister on paternity leave  

A baby was born into Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen's new family in summer 1998. The happy father left his job of government and took six days' paternity leave, as the law entitles him to. No other head of government in Finland is known to have gotten his priorities right as well as Lipponen did in this respect.


Finnish PM Taking Paternity Leave

HELSINKI (AP) - While other leaders reconsider Scandinavia's liberal social benefits, Finn Paavo Lipponen decided to take advantage of one: he'll be taking a six-day parental leave from his job as prime minister to be with his new baby.

It's not the first time: in 1998, Lipponen became the first Finnish government minister to take parental leave, when his wife, Paivi, gave birth to their first child, Emilia. Officials said Tuesday that the prime minister's office granted Lipponen, 58, father's leave after Päivi, 33, gave birth to a girl.

During the six-day leave that starts Wednesday, Lipponen will receive a paternity allowance instead of his normal salary, as stipulated in the social security act. Finnish fathers are entitled to take up to 18 days off work after a baby is born. Women may take up to 105 paid days of maternity leave.

Lipponen married Päivi Hertzberg, a history teacher, in January 1998 after they lived together for more than a year. Their wedding was the first by an incumbent prime minister since Finland gained independence in 1917.

CNN: Extra paternity leave proposed