General information on topic

The provisions concerning annual holiday may be found in the Annual Holiday Act. Collective agreements may contain further provisions on the determination of annual holiday and the wages or compensation payable for its duration.

The accrual of holiday days is calculated on the basis of the holiday credit year, which is from 1 April to 31 March. For an employment relationship that has lasted less than a year on 31 March, the employee is entitled to two weekdays of holiday for each full holiday credit month. For an employment relationship that has lasted more than a year on 31 March, the employee is entitled to two and a half weekdays of holiday for each full holiday credit month.

Employment consisting of several fixed-term contracts back-to-back or separated only by brief interruptions is considered continuous employment for the purpose of holiday determination.

The majority of annual holiday is taken during the holiday season, 2 May to 30 September. Remaining holiday days may be taken outside the holiday season or kept for later use if this has been agreed on. An employee is paid annual holiday pay during the annual holiday.

A part-time employee working less than 14 days or less than 35 hours per calendar month does not accrue annual holiday. Such an employee is, however, entitled to free time and to holiday compensation.

When an employment relationship is terminated, the employee is entitled to receive holiday compensation equivalent to annual holiday pay for days for which the employee had not yet taken holiday or received annual holiday pay or holiday compensation.

Instructions for employee

You accrue annual holiday in your employment if you work at least 14 days or 35 hours in any calendar month. You have the right to express your request as to when you would like to take your annual holiday, and your employer must take this into account as far as possible. Ultimately, however, your employer has the right to determine the time of your annual holiday.

Your employer is required to allocate 24 weekdays of your annual holiday in the holiday season, 2 May to 30 September. This is the summer holiday portion of annual holiday, and it must be granted in a single uninterrupted stretch.

The employer must treat employees equally when determining annual holidays. The employer must announce the time of an employee’s holiday at least one month before its start (or in exceptional cases two weeks before). You are entitled to a paid annual holiday; your holiday pay is calculated as determined in the Annual Holiday Act and the collective agreement applicable to your work.

If you work part-time and the number of days or hours you work per month falls below the limits specified in the Annual Holiday Act, you will accrue free time. You will not be paid wages for the free time, but you will receive holiday compensation.

If your employment relationship is terminated, you are entitled to receive holiday compensation for any holiday or free time that you have not taken.

Go on holiday and return from holiday according to your employer’s notification. Check the amount of holiday pay or holiday compensation you have been paid on your pay slip or holiday pay slip.

If you are taken ill before the start of an agreed holiday or during the holiday, you must inform the employer without delay, because you may request the employer to postpone your holiday to a later date. If you are taken ill during your holiday, you are entitled to postpone your holiday only after possible waiting days. The waiting days apply holidays exceeding four weeks and the maximum amount of waiting days is six. The waiting days must not decrease the employee’s right to a four-week annual holiday. Present an account of you incapacity for work to your employer in accordance with the usual routines of the workplace. You may not continue you holiday with the corresponding amount of days on your own initiative. The employer will determine the time of the new holiday.

Your employer must give you a holiday pay slip in connection with payment of holiday pay. This must show the amount of holiday pay or holiday compensation and the basis for its calculation.


Instructions for employer

The employer must explain to employees or their representative the principles observed at the workplace regarding the allocation of annual holidays. These may include answers to the following questions:

  • Are all employee holidays taken simultaneously, or are they distributed over the months of the holiday season?
  • Is there a rota system for holidays at the workplace, i.e. are the annual holidays of each employee allocated to a different month each year?
  • Can I save up part of my holiday and take it in a later year?
  • How do we agree on the taking of annual holiday?

The Annual Holiday Act specifies the matters that an employer and employee are allowed to agree on concerning the taking of annual holiday. Such an agreement must be executed in writing. The following may be agreed concerning annual holiday:

  • the employee taking a holiday exceeding 12 weekdays in one or more segments,
  • allocating an annual holiday in a time period beginning at the beginning of the calendar year containing the holiday season in question and ending before the start of the holiday season in the following year,
  • the portion of the holiday exceeding 12 weekdays must be taken no later than one year after the end of the holiday season in question,
  • annual holiday accrued before the termination of the employment relationship must be taken during the employment relationship,
  • taking the portion of the annual holiday exceeding 24 weekdays in the form of shorter working hours (only at the employee’s initiative), or
  • saving up the portion of the annual holiday exceeding 18 weekdays for later (carried-over holiday).
The employer is required to give employees an opportunity to express their requests regarding the timing of their holidays and notify them of the timing of holidays well ahead of time.

Before determining the time of a holiday, the employer must consult the employee’s opinion of the timing. The timing of a holiday must be announced as early as possible, no later than one month before its start. If the one-month notice period cannot be observed, the holiday must in any case be announced no later than two weeks before its start.

The employer issues a holiday pay slip and keeps a record of annual holidays

Holiday pay must be paid before the start of the holiday. However, for a holiday of no more than six days, holiday pay may be paid on the company’s normal wage payment day. The employer is required to comply with any provisions concerning holiday bonus, etc., in the applicable collective agreement.

When paying out holiday pay or holiday compensation, the employer must give the employee a pay slip showing the amount of holiday pay or holiday compensation and the basis on which it was calculated.

The employer must keep a record of employees’ annual holidays and carried-over holiday. The record of annual holidays must show the lengths and timings of annual holidays, and the amounts of holiday pay and holiday compensation and the basis on which they were calculated. An employee must be given a report on the record of annual holidays on request.

For calculating annual holiday pay, use this form: Annual holiday pay and annual holiday compensation pay slip (pdf, in Finnish, 53 kt).


Holiday credit year The period from 1 April to 31 March during which annual holiday days are accrued.
Holiday season The period from 2 May to 30 September during which summer holiday must be granted.
Full holiday credit month A calendar month during which the employee has been working as agreed for at least 14 days or 35 hours, including time that by law is considered equivalent to time at work.
Period equivalent to time at work Any period of absence from work for which the employer is by law obliged to pay the employee, and the days off and hours off specified in section 7 of the Annual Holiday Act during which the employee is unable to work.
Holiday entitlement The number of annual holiday days accrued by the employee during a working month.
Annual holiday pay Wages paid for the time of the annual holiday.
Holiday bonus An increment agreed upon in a collective agreement, for instance 50% of annual holiday pay, usually paid in connection with the summer holiday.