General information on topic

An employee is entitled to leave from employment for a period in which he/she is entitled to maternity, special maternity, paternity or parental allowance. An employee is eligible for child-care leave until the child reaches the age of three. Part-time and temporary child-care leave count as family leave. An employer may in certain cases refuse to grant part-time child-care leave.

Under the Employment Contracts Act, the employer is not required to pay wages for the duration of family leave. However, many collective agreements specify that wages must continue to be paid during maternity leave and short-term absences due to a child falling ill (temporary child-care leave)

Study leave is a flexible opportunity for employed persons to study further. The right to study leave is provided for in the Study Leave Act, which applies to both private and civil service employment relationships.

A person on study leave is exempt from work for the purpose of training or study, but his/her employment relationship continues for the duration of the study leave. Study leave is unpaid unless otherwise provided for in the relevant collective agreement or otherwise agreed by employer and employee.

Job alternation leave is an arrangement where employer and employee agree that the employee will take time off and the employer undertakes to hire an unemployed jobseeker for the duration of the leave. Job alternation leave is an opportunity for an employee to take an extended period of leave that he/she may use in any way he/she wishes.

Part-time pension is a way for employees and entrepreneurs to lighten their work load in the final years of their careers. Part-time pension must be agreed on with the employer; it is not automatically granted.

The requirements for being granted a part-time pension differ somewhat in the private and public sectors. There are also special features in part-time pensions for agricultural entrepreneurs and seamen.

 

Instructions for employee

As an employee, you may be entitled to leave from your work under certain conditions provided for by law. The right to certain kinds of leave is guaranteed by law (e.g. maternity and paternity leave). Other kinds of leave must be agreed on with the employer (e.g. job alternation leave and part-time pension). The right to study leave is principally guaranteed by law, but the employer may legally postpone its start for a justifiable reason.

Before applying for leave, find out what the applicable collective agreement specifies about leave and what your earnings would be during the leave. Also find out whether you can interrupt your leave if necessary and on what terms.

Leave is unpaid unless otherwise provided for by law or in the applicable collective agreement. For instance, the collective agreement may specify that wages will continue to be paid during maternity leave and temporary child-care leave. For some types of leave, you may apply to Kela for compensation.

Apply for leave according to instructions issued by your employer. Remember that you must notify your employer even of statutory leave, as specified in legislation. Deliver any reports and certificates required for your leave application to your employer in good time.

Many employers have forms for applying for leave. If there are no forms available at your workplace, you may use the occupational safety and health administration form: Family leave (docx, in Finnish).
 

Instructions for employer

An employee is entitled by law to family leave, study leave, job alternation leave and part-time pension if the requirements specified in legislation are fulfilled. These types of leave are provided for in the Employment Contracts Act, the Study Leave Act and Decree, the Act on Job Alternation Leave and the Employees Pensions Act. The employer must treat employees equally when granting leave.

An employee must notify the employer of leave as provided for by law. The employer must check in the applicable collective agreement whether the employee is entitled to pay during the leave and for how long a period. The employer may apply to KELA for compensation for the leave.

Job alternation leave must be agreed between the employer and the employee. The employer is required to hire a person registered as an unemployed jobseeker at an employment and economic development office (TE Service) to replace the employee on job alternation leave. However, it is not necessary to engage that person for the same specific duties performed by the employee on job alternation leave.

An employee is entitled to take study leave if the statutory requiremetns are fulfilled. However, the employer is allowed to postpone the start of the study leave for a justifiable reason.