Working during maternity leave

Income on maternity leave is limited, so earning a bit of extra money may seem attractive. However, working during maternity leave may affect your benefits and allowances. Read more about maternity leave income policies and restrictions in our article.

Maternity leave becomes a timely issue for many women at some point in their careers. Although the new family member brings both endless joy and sleepless nights, taking leave from work may cause concern about your financial situation. Next, we’ll find out what your income typically consists of during maternity leave, and whether you can choose to work during maternity leave.

Income on maternity leave

During maternity leave, your income typically consists of the parental allowance paid by Kela, as well as any salary possibly paid by your employer.

The parental allowance consists of pregnancy allowance, special maternity allowance and parental allowance.

Pregnancy allowance is paid from the beginning of pregnancy leave, usually about a month before the birth of the child. Parental leave, on the other hand, begins immediately after the child is born and Kela pays parental allowance for this period for a maximum of 320 working days.

Can I work during maternity leave?

While on maternity leave, you may have to live solely on the benefits paid by Kela. For this reason, your income level may fall sharply from what you are used to. As everyday life with your new family member gets easier, you may soon begin to take an interest in working again.

While working during maternity leave is not prohibited, working affects the amount of benefits paid to you.

If you work during pregnancy leave or parental leave, you must cancel the pregnancy or parental allowance days during which you have worked through Kela’s online service OmaKela. However, work done on Sundays or public holidays does not have to be reported to Kela.

Pregnancy benefit days are spent even if the benefit is not paid to you because of your work. During parental leave, working days for which parental allowance is not paid do not, however, consume the number of days of parental allowance. These days will be saved for later use.

Partial parental allowance

You can also apply for partial parental allowance if you are working part-time or as an entrepreneur. Your daily working hours may not exceed 5 hours, as you are not entitled to parental allowance if you work longer hours.

Parental allowance paid in part only consumes half a day of parental allowance for each day. The amount of partial parental allowance is therefore half of the amount of the full parental allowance.

Working as a light entrepreneur during maternity leave

During maternity leave, it is important to spend time with your child, but unfortunately, this limits your job opportunities. Finding a flexible job during maternity leave can be a major challenge.

Maternity leave is an excellent opportunity to sell your skills as a light entrepreneur. As a light entrepreneur, you can easily define your working hours, the number of your tasks you accept, and where you work.

In the best case, you can work as a light entrepreneur from home. If you are able to sell a service or skill that can be performed remotely, you can spend your days at home with your child.

Working as a light entrepreneur also makes it possible to receive partial parental allowance, as long as your daily working hours do not exceed five hours.

Light entrepreneurship during maternity leave

  • On maternity leave, your income consists of parental allowance, pregnancy allowance and any salary possibly paid by your employer.
  • You may work on maternity leave, but you are only entitled to partial benefits:
    • If you work fewer than 5 hours a day, you will receive a partial parental allowance.
    • If you work more than 5 hours a day, you will not receive parental allowance.
  • You may work as a light entrepreneur on maternity leave, but you are entitled to partial parental allowance at the most, subject to the above conditions.

Here are some useful links:

Light entrepreneurship vs trade name

Light entrepreneurs and start-up money