Finnish company first to introduce grandparental leave
HELSINKI -- Employees of DNA Plc, one of the leading Finnish telecommunications groups, who become grandparents are entitled to one week of paid grandparental leave. The aim of this leave is to promote family-friendliness at the workplace even at a later stage of the career.
DNA participates in the Family-Friendly Workplace pilot project of Väestöliitto, the Family Federation of Finland.
“The possibility of balancing working life with personal life is one of the key factors for the well-being of our employees. We participate in the project, because we want to be among Finland’s best places to work. We believe that we are the first company in Finland to offer paid grandparental leave to employees,” says Marko Rissanen, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at DNA.
The paid grandparental leave is available to grandparents of children born after Jan. 1, 2017. Employees who have become grandparents through adoption are also entitled to the leave.
“The grandparental leave should be used for spending time with the family within a year from the birth of a grandchild. The only support network many new mothers and fathers have may be far away, and it is important that grandparents can be present when they are needed.”
In the initial stage, the Family-Friendly Workplace pilot project has been targeted mainly at the development of practices in Consumer and Corporate Customer Service. As a result of the project, the company’s Corporate Customer Service, for example, introduced flexible working hours, and in Consumer Customer Service more employees have now the opportunity to work remotely.
“It is important to find family-friendly practices that are suitable for the lives of our customer service employees, in particular. Specialist work at DNA is already very family-friendly as employees can select where they work without having to ask for a separate permission from their managers. However, the grandparental leave will be available as a new benefit for the entire organisation,” Rissanen concludes.
Spain also experimented with grandparental leave, granted by the Santander Bank to its employees while in Italy. The possibility to introduce national legislation was made in 2012 by the then Minister for Family Policies, Andrea Riccardi, but it disappeared.