Finavia supports its employees in combining work and family life and encourages fathers to take their parental leave. However, balancing different areas of life can be quite a puzzle, especially for parents of young children. To make this easier, Finavia wanted to create a workplace atmosphere that is open and encourages discussion as well as make harmonised rules for all.
“At Finavia, I have found combining work and family life to be quite straightforward and easy. This is thanks to, for example, the flexible approach to sudden schedule changes related to the everyday life of a family with children,” says Henri Ohenoja, a maintenance specialist working at Oulu Airport and the father of three children.
It’s possible to combine family life and shift work
Two thirds of Finavia employees do shift work that requires them to be at the airport in person. Shift planning aims to take their wishes into account. Colleagues can also swap shifts with each other, if necessary.
“We have always been able to make arrangements as needed. I can swap shifts with a colleague if there is an unexpected doctor’s appointment or I want to take my baby to a swimming class, for example,” says Roope Vakkilainen, Ivalo Airport’s maintenance Shift Manager and the father of two children.
Although shift work can sometimes feel challenging for employees with children, Vakkilainen believes that it also has its advantages.
“After a morning or day shift, it’s nice to be able to help with the children’s bedtime routine, which can be quite an undertaking with two boys aged 1 and 3. If, on the other hand, I’m on the evening shift, I can take care of things like child health clinic visits in the morning.”
Fathers are taking significantly more parental leave than before
Finavia encourages fathers to take parental leave. The family leave reform that entered into force in August 2022 provides opportunities for flexible parental leave.
“Our twin babies were born a month early. My parental leave was set to start later, but, fortunately, we were able to easily agree to start it as soon as the twins came home from the hospital,” says Ohenoja.
For years, Finavia’s equality policy has aimed to increase fathers’ use of family leave. Awareness of parental leave opportunities seems to have increased among Finavia employees. By October 2023, the amount of parental leave taken by fathers working at Finavia had increased by almost 60% year-on-year.
Children also get to learn about everyday life at the airport
Finavia’s annual leave, which is longer than what is set out in the Annual Holidays Act, offers more time for family life. Family trips are also sometimes possible during working hours.
“This year, I attended a two-day training event in Vantaa, and I also got to take my family on this trip. The children were very happy to visit Sea Life, and the trip was a success in every respect,” Vakkilainen says.
Children have also been able to learn about the work environment of their fathers at close range.
“My children have loved visiting our airport every now and then. When they have visited, we have, for example, driven them around in fire engines and other machines.”
“It’s great that the younger generation also gets to see what everyday life is like here at the airport,” says Ohenoja.