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Finland Leave Laws & Holidays for 2024

Paid Time Off, Vacation, Sick Leave, Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Parental Leave, Bereavement Leave, Jury Duty Leave, Military Leave, and Voting Leave

Table Of Contents

Last updated on January 19, 2024.

Paid Time Off (PTO) in Finland

Vacation Quota (Annual Leave)

5 weeks (usually 4 weeks of summer vacation and 1 week of winter vacation)

Employees in Finland are entitled to paid vacation of 2.5 days per month after a full year of employment. This comes to 5 full weeks of paid vacation, or 25 days annually.

Nota Bene: Officially, employees will actually receive 30 days of paid vacation, because Saturday is also calculated as a workday, even for employees who don’t regularly work on Saturday. Employees accrue and take vacation based on weekdays. A weekday is considered to be any day other than Sunday or a public holiday. Therefore, a complete week of vacation includes 6 days (including Saturday), even for employees with a regular 5-day week. A similar calculation exists in France as well.

On top of that, employees have 13 days off on public holidays.

Eligibility

Depends on the number of working days or hours.

An employee can earn his or her vacation according to the following:

  • The 14-day regulation;

  • The 35-hour regulation;

  • The ‘leave entitlement rule’.

The 14-day regulation is for employees with employment contracts that specify that they work a minimum of 14 days each month. Therefore, only the total number of workdays matters, not the working hours (it could be any number of hours from 1 to 8).

The 35-hour regulation is for employees whose contract states that they work monthly for at least 35 hours, but are not covered by the 14-day regulation.

The “leave entitlement rule” applies to employees not covered by the first two rules: employees whose contracts specify that they work monthly for less than 14 days and also less than 35 hours, employees who work from home, etc.

Accrual Rate

2,5 days per month

The Annual Holidays Act, of 2005, is Finland’s leave policy that guarantees paid vacation to all employees (whether full-time or part-time) who work at least 35 hours or 14 days monthly. Those employees who do not meet this condition are entitled only to unpaid leave.

Vacation is accrued through work performed in the holiday credit year. The term ‘holiday credit year’ or ‘earning season’ refers to the accrual period from 1st April to 31st March.

Employees accrue vacation days at a rate entirely based on the length of their service:

  • employees that work less than 1 year at the company: 2 working days per month;

  • employees that work 1 year or more at the company: 2.5 days working per month.

Employees accrue this entitlement for each credit month in the holiday credit year.

After 15 years of service, employees are entitled to a vacation credit of 3 days per month.

Calculation of the vacation days implies that the number of any partial day is always rounded up to a full day of leave.

Taking a Leave

Mostly from May 2 to September 30.

An employer generally determines the dates of vacation, but it can also be agreed upon by an employer and an employee.

The summer vacation, generally consisting of 4 weeks (24 working days), must be provided during the vacation season, from May 2 to September 30. This is the time when most employees take vacation leave.

The rest of the vacation days, usually one week (6 days) belong to the winter vacation and are to be given from September 30 to May 2 (basically, before the next vacation season starts).

Carry Over

Allowed; usually 1 week of vacation.

Employees are entitled to transfer any part of their vacation leave that is more than 24 weekdays (essentially, the winter vacation portion). The employer is required to have a justifiable reason if they choose to deny this transfer.

Payout

Vacation pay: 100% of regular earnings.

Workers receive vacation pay for the entire leave. Typically, this vacation compensation matches their usual salary (plus fringe benefits). It is standard practice to provide vacation pay prior to the beginning of leave. Beyond their regular salary, which they receive before leave, employees may receive a vacation bonus at 50% of the standard vacation pay. This bonus is defined in the Annual Holidays Act, and it applies only to employees covered by collective agreements.

Payment of Unused Vacation on Termination

Finland leave laws state that at the end of the employment relationship, the payment for any accrued but unused vacation days is determined based on the same rules as those used for calculating vacation pay.

Sick Leave in Finland

Unlimited leave; up to 300 working days are paid.

Employees in Finland are entitled to 9 working days (excluding the day the illness began) of paid sick leave per year. Employees may continue their leave after these nine days, but the employer does not pay; the government does. Generally, Finland leave laws do not set an upper limit on the duration of the leave, but it is paid up to 300 days.

To be eligible for fully paid sick leave, an employee must have worked at the company for 1 month. Employees who have worked for less than a month receive 1/2 of their wages.

An employee must present a doctor’s note as soon as practicable to have a valid sick absence.

The length of paid sick leave also varies depending on the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in effect. In most CBAs, employees with less than three years of service receive four weeks of paid leave, and those with more than three years receive five weeks.

Payout

An employer must pay for the first 9 days, and then the government pays.

During their sick leave, employees can receive a sickness allowance from Kela as compensation for lost earnings. Kela is (abbr. from Kansaneläkelaitos) a Finnish government agency for social insurance.

The sickness allowance starts 9 working days following the start of the sick leave (excluding the day it began). During these first 9 days, it is the employer who pays the salary, and often they continue to provide full wages for the first month of sick leave.

The sickness allowance from the government is up to 1 full year (about 300 workdays). If an employer pays wages while an employee is sick, Kela will reimburse the employer directly.

The sickness allowance that an employee receives is calculated based on their yearly earnings.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Family Leave in Finland

Family leave in Finland consists of 3 major parts and goes in this order:

  • Pregnancy leave

  • Parental leave

  • Childcare leave

Finland’s leave policy allows all parents to take parental leave, regardless of gender and whether their child is biological or adopted. Employees must notify their employer about upcoming family leave at least two months in advance. Family leave is job-protected.

As of August 1, 2022, there were changes in family leave laws, and the provisions are explained below.

Pregnancy Leave in Finland

40 days

The duration of pregnancy leave is 40 working days, typically starting 30 weekdays prior to the estimated date of delivery. This leave is required at the latest 14 weekdays before the expected birth date.

After maternity leave, an employee may continue with parental leave.

Payout

KELA (government social insurance) is responsible for paying pregnancy allowance days.

Parental Leave in Finland

160 days for each parent

After the birth of the child, employees who become parents are eligible to take parental leave. Both parents have a right to parental leave.

The total duration of parental leave is 320 working days, roughly 14 months. This is divided equally; each parent may take 160 working days (approx. 7 months) of parental leave. One of the parents can transfer up to 63 days of their parental leave to the other.

Parental entitlement of such length is one of the best parental leave in the world.

Parental leave can be taken by only one parent at a time, which means that they may not take it simultaneously. However, it is allowed for both parents to take simultaneously up to 18 working days of this leave, or combine parental leave with pregnancy.

A single parent may take an entire leave of 320 working days alone.

Employees may split their parental leave into a maximum of 4 separate periods, each at least 12 working days long.

All days of parental leave must be used by the time the child is 2 years old.

Employees have the option to take parental leave on a part-time basis, called partial parental leave.

After the end of parental, employees can extend their leave into child care leave, up to the child’s third birthday.

Payout

The parental allowance is also paid for by KELA, based on the regular salary of the employee.

Child Care Leave in Finland

2 periods of leave

Employees have the right to take 2 separate periods of child care leave. This leave may begin about six months (160 days) after the birth of the child. The shortest duration allowed for child care leave is 1 month. Regardless, an employer and employee can mutually agree on a leave period that is shorter than one month. Only one parent of a child can take this leave at any given time.

This leave is allowed until the child is 3 years old.

Partial Child Care Leave

Childcare leave can be taken on a part-time basis. An agreement can be made between an employer and an employee for partial childcare leave, which involves reduced working hours and a corresponding decrease in salary.

Paternity Leave in Finland

Paternity leave in Finland is part of parental leave.

Childcare Sick Leave in Finland

4 days

Employees who are parents are also entitled to up to 4 days of childcare sick leave per year.

This leave allows for either the mother or father to stay at home if a child under the age of 10 becomes sick unexpectedly.

Payout

Whether a salary is paid during this leave depends on the terms of the collective bargaining agreement. KELA, a government organization, is paying a childcare benefit for this period.

Other Types of Leave in Finland

Bereavement leave, jury duty leave, military leave, and voting leave are not specified by Finland’s leave policy.

Public Holidays in Finland for 2024

15 public holidays

There are 15 national public holidays in Finland.

A complete list of official holidays celebrated in Finland in 2024:
Date Holiday
January 1, Moday New Year’s Day
January 6, Saturday Epiphany (12 days after Christmas)
March 29, Friday Good Friday
March 31, Sunday Easter Sunday
April 1, Monday Easter Monday
May 1, Wednesday Labor Day
May 9, Thursday Ascension Day (40th day after Easter)
May 19, Sunday Whit Sunday (Pentecost)
June 21 Midsummer Eve
June 22 Midsummer Day
November 2, Saturday All Saints’ Day
December 6 Independence Day
December 24, Tuesday Christmas Eve
Decem. 25, Wednesday Christmas Day
December 26, Thursday St. Stephen’s Day (Second Day of Christmas)

Sources

  1. The Annual Holidays Act, https://tem.fi/documents/1410877/2918981/The+Annual+Holidays+Act/9bd1fbbc-2a16-4937-bf2f-beefc55ccca4

  2. Payroll and Benefits Guide Finland, https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/finland/

  3. Local Laws & Regulations in Finland, https://www.atlashxm.com/en/countries/finland

  4. Finland - Sickness allowance, https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1109&langId=en&intPageId=4518

  5. Kela: Sickness allowance, https://www.kela.fi/sickness-allowance

  6. Family leave, https://www.infofinland.fi/en

Check out our Leave Laws page to learn more about laws in various countries.

All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.

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