Finns may get 'love leave' to improve their lives

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The Independent Online

Finnish MPs will consider granting working adults annual "love leave" and introducing lessons to teach schoolchildren how to "be human", in an effort to improve the nation's emotional quality of life.

The Social Democrat MP Tommy Tabermann has submitted both ideas as formal proposals to parliament in the wake of a school shooting last year in which nine students, including the gunman, died.

He hopes to reduce the number of divorces and the high incidence of depression and to stop bullying in schools and at work.

"Next week we are making history talking about love in the parliament," Mr Tabermann added.

He said research had shown that Finns wanted more time with loved ones rather than higher wages. "It is not humbug. It is not a sex leave, but in a much wider sense gives people a chance to maintain their relationships," he said.

The week-long "relationship leave" would be given to all employees each year, enabling Finns to spend time with loved ones, see relatives and visit the sick.

Mr Tabermann said his proposal for teaching children how to "be human" at school stemmed from a bullying problem and that a quarter of pupils suffered from depression.