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Vacation and Leave Policies

Understand the regulations on vacation and other types of leave in Finland

Holiday leave

In Finland, the rights of employees regarding vacation leave are governed by the Annual Holidays Act. For every full month of employment during the earning year, which spans from April 1st to March 31st, employees accumulate 2 days of vacation leave. If an employee has been with the same employer for at least 15 years at the start of the earning year, they accrue 2.5 days of vacation leave for each month worked.

Accrual and Eligibility

As soon as it is accrued, vacation leave can be utilized. However, there are certain prerequisites for taking leave during specific seasons. Before taking winter leave, employees must accumulate a minimum of 14 days of vacation leave, and 24 days of vacation leave before taking summer leave.


During vacation periods, employees are entitled to their regular salary or average earnings. This ensures that employees can enjoy their time off without financial stress.

Public holidays

Finland observes a mix of national, historical, and religious holidays throughout the year. Here's a breakdown of the officially recognized public holidays:

Fixed Date Holidays

  • New Year's Day (January 1st): This day celebrates the start of the calendar year.
  • Epiphany (January 6th): This is a Christian holiday primarily observed by the Orthodox Church.
  • Good Friday (March/April): This Christian holiday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The exact date varies yearly.
  • Easter Sunday (March/April): This Christian holiday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The exact date varies yearly.
  • Easter Monday (March/April): This day is observed after Easter Sunday. The exact date varies yearly.
  • May Day/Vappu (May 1st): This day celebrates workers' contributions and the arrival of spring.
  • Ascension Day (May/June): This Christian holiday commemorates the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven. The exact date varies yearly.
  • Whitsunday/Pentecost (May/June): This day celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. The exact date varies yearly.
  • Midsummer Eve (June): This is the Friday before Midsummer Day (which is a Saturday between June 20-26), featuring summer solstice celebrations.
  • Midsummer Day (June): This day is usually observed on a Saturday between June 20th and June 26th.
  • All Saints' Day (November): This day is observed on the Saturday between October 30th and November 5th.
  • Independence Day (December 6th): This day commemorates Finland's independence from Russia in 1917.
  • Christmas Eve (December 24th): This is the day before Christmas Day.
  • Christmas Day (December 25th): This Christian holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.
  • St Stephen's Day (December 26th): This is the day after Christmas Day.

Types of leave

In Finland, employees have access to various types of leave under the Annual Holidays Act, Employment Contracts Act, and other labor legislation.

Vacation Leave

Employees accrue 2 days of leave for each full qualifying month (those where at least 14 days were worked), or 2.5 days per month after 15 continuous years of employment. Employees receive full pay or average earnings during vacation periods.

Sick Leave

Employees become eligible for paid sick leave after one month of employment. The duration of paid sick leave can depend on employment length. Employers typically cover full salary for a period determined by length of service. After this, benefits may provide compensation. Employers may require a medical certificate for absences exceeding three days.

Maternity Leave

Female employees are entitled to 105 weekdays of maternity leave, typically split before and after childbirth. This may be extended in cases of multiple births or medical complications. Eligible employees receive maternity benefits.

Paternity Leave

Fathers are entitled to up to 54 weekdays of paternity leave. Paternity leave is compensated.

Parental Leave

Following maternity and paternity leave, either parent has the right to 158 weekdays of parental leave until the child is about 3 years old. Parental leave is compensated.

Other Types of Leave

Study Leave

Employees may be eligible for study leave for education or training purposes. The specific conditions and duration are usually determined by collective agreements or individual employment contracts.

Family Leave

Employees may be entitled to temporary leave to care for a sick child or attend to urgent family situations.

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