Leave Policy in Finland

Leave Policy in Finland
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Remote hiring has been soaring in popularity, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic forced all nonessential workers to stay home. One of the significant benefits of this shift toward remote work is that employers now have access to top talent from around the world.

While this opens the door for many employers to partner with candidates outside their country of origin, it also provides additional complications regarding compliance with labor and tax regulations. Consider partnering with an employer of record (EOR) like Skuad to ensure your company remains compliant if you're unfamiliar with the leave policy in Finland.

When you hire employees living in Finland, you will be expected to comply with all local tax and labor laws, which include following Finnish leave policies. Continue reading to learn about the leave policies in Finland.

Holiday leave in Finland

Employees in Finland are entitled to 13 public holidays per year. On these days, many businesses will be closed for the entire day, and some may only operate for part of the day.

Public holidays in Finland

There are 13 public holidays in Finland. Below is a calendar showing which dates and days of the week these holidays will be observed in 2023.

Finland 2023 public holiday calendar

Public Holiday Date Day of the week
New Year’s Day January 1 Sunday
Epiphany January 6 Friday
Good Friday April 7 Friday
Easter April 9 Sunday
Easter Monday April 10 Monday
Vappu (May Day) May 1 Monday
Ascension Day May 18 Thursday
Whit Sunday May 28 Sunday
Midsummer June 24 Saturday
All Saints’ Day November 4 Saturday
Independence Day December 6 Wednesday
Christmas Day December 25 Monday
Boxing Day December 26 Tuesday

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Types of leave in Finland

International employers, especially those who typically hire employees living in the United States, may be unaccustomed to providing employees with legally protected time off. While there are no laws regarding parental sick leave, maternity leave or paternity benefits in the United States, these leave accommodations are common in European countries.

Although many of the leave requirements in Finland don't pose a significant financial burden to the employer, resulting from the Finnish social security system (which employers are required to pay into), the time off employees are entitled to take may create challenges for employers.

For example, employees in Finland can shift from full-time to part-time employment for up to eight years after a child is born. This benefit can extend even longer if the employee has more children during this window.

In addition, full-time employees are entitled to a minimum of 24 days of paid vacation time per year, which is significantly more than many employers offer in the United States. Therefore, it would be best to consider how employing individuals in Finland might affect your business operations before considering candidates living there.

If you're not used to providing employee benefits such as these, it might be beneficial to partner with a global employment solution like Skuad to ensure all legally mandated employee benefits are being provided.

Below are the types of leave that employees in Finland are entitled to.

Sick leave

In Finland, sick leave is a paid benefit to which all employees and citizens are entitled. To be eligible for sick leave benefits from an employer, an employee must be employed for at least one entire month.

Employees must notify employers of their need to stay home from work as soon as possible, and employers are obligated to pay employees for 10 consecutive days of sick leave.

Although employers are still required to provide employees with the necessary time off if they're still sick after 10 days, they no longer have to pay for this benefit. Instead, employees will need to seek financial compensation through Finnish social security for any remaining missed work days.

Employers are entitled to require a doctor's note from an employee to provide them with paid time off.

Family leave

Employees in Finland are entitled to family leave. This is not always a benefit paid by employers, but employees can seek compensation from Finnish social security during this time. Employees must notify employers of their intent to take family leave a minimum of two months in advance. Below are the types of family leave that exist in Finland.

Pregnancy leave

Employees are entitled to 40 days of pregnancy leave in Finland. The leave typically starts 30 business days prior to the employee's due date but cannot be taken later than 14 business days before their due date.

Special pregnancy leave exists for individuals whose jobs directly threaten their own health and safety or the health and safety of the fetus. Individuals who qualify for special pregnancy leave are entitled to begin their leave time as soon as they find out they are pregnant.

Parental leave

In Finland, there are no separate maternity and paternity leave laws, as both parents are entitled to take parental leave as soon as their child is born. Parental leave lasts for 320 business days, roughly 14 months, which reflects the combined leave time of both parents.

Of the total pregnancy and parental leave time, parents can take 18 business days off simultaneously. Other than this time, however, parents must stagger their parental leave.

Each parent is entitled to 160 business days of parental leave, but one parent can give up to 63 days of their own parental leave to the other parent if they choose.

If there is only one parent, that individual is entitled to take all 320 business days.

Employees can choose to take their parental leave time spaced out over four different periods (so long as each one is a minimum of 12 business days) or use it to work part-time.

However, all parental leave benefits must be used in the first two years of the child's life.

Childcare leave

Parents can use childcare leave once their parental leave has been exhausted and is available to employees for the first three years of a child's life. Like parental leave, employees can space out their childcare leave over four different periods unless otherwise arranged with their employer.

Partial childcare leave

Employees may also use childcare leave to work part-time, called partial childcare leave. This option is available to both parents so that one parent is always with the child (the first parent works the first half of the day while the second parent cares for the child, and then they switch).

Employers are not required to pay employees for the time they take off to care for their children, but they are expected to provide employees with the time off. This benefit can be used until the employee's child's second school year ends.

School in Finland begins when children are seven years old, so this benefit will need to be extended for roughly eight years should the employee choose to take it.

Childcare sick leave

Parents in Finland are entitled to four days of leave per year to care for children under ten if they get sick.

Annual holiday leave

Annual holiday leave is a paid benefit to which all employees in Finland are entitled, as stated in the Annual Holidays Act overseen by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

The Annual Holidays Act states that both part-time and full-time employees are entitled to accrue holiday leave so long as they work a minimum of 35 hours or 14 days per month. Employees who work less than 35 hours or 14 days per month are not entitled to paid annual holiday leave. However, these employees are still entitled to unpaid leave.

Employees meeting the minimum requirements to be eligible for annual holiday leave accrue leave time on a sliding scale.

Holiday leave is accrued at a rate of either two business days or two and a half business days per holiday credit month they work in full, depending on their length of service. Employees accrue holiday leave for the first year of employment at a rate of two days per holiday credit month and at a rate of two and a half days per holiday credit month for each year after that.

This means that employees earn between 24 and 30 vacation days per year (equivalent to roughly five or six weeks). The holiday season in Finland lasts from May 2 to September 30, at which time most employees will use the majority of their holiday time. However, the employer must approve holiday leave, and employees can still use some of their holiday leave during the holiday season.

Ensure you're abiding by Finnish leave laws with Skuad

Navigating all the local tax and labor regulations in foreign countries can be extremely complex, especially if you employ individuals in numerous countries. Utilizing an employer of record solution like Skuad ensures you remain compliant with all local labor laws, including providing employees with minimum leave allowances.

Noncompliance can result in severe financial and legal penalties for your business. Book a demo with Skuad today to see how we can help you simplify the process of global hiring.

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