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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
|January 1, Moday
|New Year’s Day
|January 6, Saturday
|Epiphany (12 days after Christmas)
|March 29, Friday
|March 31, Sunday
|April 1, Monday
|May 1, Wednesday
|May 9, Thursday
|Ascension Day (40th day after Easter)
|May 19, Sunday
|Whit Sunday (Pentecost)
|November 2, Saturday
|All Saints’ Day
|December 24, Tuesday
|Decem. 25, Wednesday
|December 26, Thursday
|St. Stephen’s Day (Second Day of Christmas)
Payroll and Benefits Guide Finland, https://www.papayaglobal.com/countrypedia/country/finland/
Local Laws & Regulations in Finland, https://www.atlashxm.com/en/countries/finland
Finland - Sickness allowance, https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=1109&langId=en&intPageId=4518
Kela: Sickness allowance, https://www.kela.fi/sickness-allowance
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.
Create an account with this setup.
Join Vacation Tracker now, we'll set up everything to fit your location.