Job alternation leave - Ingressi

Job alternation leave allows employees to take an extended period of time off work for no specific reason. Job alternation leave promotes employees’ well-being at work. It also provides an opportunity for an unemployed person to find employment and gain work experience while they are hired for a fixed term to cover for the employee taking job alternation leave. The employee taking job alternation leave is paid job alternation allowance for the duration of their leave. No annual holiday is accrued during job alternation leave.

Job alternation leave - Yleistä

Job alternation leave refers to an arrangement whereby an employee, in accordance with a job alternation agreement made with the employer, is released from their work duties for a fixed period of time. The employer commits themselves to hiring a person who is registered as an unemployed jobseeker at a TE Office for the duration of their regular employee’s leave.

Job alternation leave is governed by the Act on Job Alternation Leave. The Act on Job Alternation Leave applies to both private-sector employment contracts and public-service employment relationships. Compliance with the Act on Job Alternation Leave is enforced by employment authorities and occupational safety and health authorities together.

Preconditions for granting job alternation leave

Job alternation leave is available for an employee

  • who has had an employment relationship with the same employer for at least 13 months before the beginning of the job alternation leave. This period may include a maximum of 30 calendar days of unpaid absence
  • whose working hours total at least 75% of the working hours of a full-time employee in the relevant sector
  • who has had an employment period for at least 20 years prior to the beginning of the leave period
  • whose period of employment since their previous job alternation leave period ended is at least five years.

When calculating the period of employment, the provisions of the Employees Pensions Act (395/2006, section 3) and the Unemployment Security Act (1290/2002, chapter 6, section 11, subsection 2) will be applied. Any family leave taken or military or non-military service performed during the period of employment is taken into account in the calculation. Also, work performed abroad is taken into account under certain conditions.

Duration of the job alternation leave and extending it

Job alternation leave can be at least 100 and at most 180 calendar days long. The job alternation leave granted may be extended if the employer agrees to it. The extension must be agreed two months before the current job alternation leave ends.

Job alternation agreement

A job alternation agreement is made in writing between an employee and employer. In the agreement, the employer commits themselves to hiring a substitute for the employee taking job alternation leave. The substitute must be an unemployed jobseeker. The job alternation agreement and any other reports needed must be submitted to a TE Office before the job alternation leave begins.

Job alternation allowance

An employee on job alternation leave is entitled to job alternation allowance. The prerequisite for the payment of job alternation allowance is that an unemployed jobseeker is hired as a substitute for the duration of the leave. Entitlement to the allowance will continue even when the service relationship of the substitute is terminated before the job alternation leave ends.

The local TE Office will investigate the preconditions of paying the allowance and provide a competent statement on its payment. After receiving the statement, an application for job alternation allowance can be submitted in writing to Kela or the relevant unemployment fund.

The job alternation allowance is 70% of the unemployment allowance that the person would be entitled to if unemployed. Child supplements are not taken into account in determining the job alternation allowance.

Other work during job alternation leave

The purpose of job alternation leave is to promote the employee’s well-being at work. Therefore, performing other work during the leave is not in line with the purpose of the legislation. Nevertheless, working during the leave is not prohibited. Please note that earned income and any other earnings reduce the amount of job alternation allowance paid.

Interrupting the job alternation leave, temporary return to work and ending the leave

If an employee wants to interrupt the granted job alternation leave before it ends or in order to return temporarily to work, they must agree on it with the employer. Job alternation leave is used up during a temporary return to work, unless extending it is agreed upon separately.

The job alternation leave is considered to have ended if the person taking it

  • is suddenly entitled to receive maternity, special maternity, paternity or parental allowance,
  • is granted leave for a period of more than 18 working days owing to pregnancy, childbirth or care for a child, or if they are entitled to receive a special care allowance.

The job alternation leave is considered to have been interrupted if the entitlement arising on the grounds described above or a granted leave lasts no more than 18 working days.

After the job alternation leave, the employee is entitled to return primarily to their previous job. If this is not possible, the person returning from leave must be offered equivalent work in accordance with their employment contract or service relationship. Other kinds of work must be agreed between the employee and employer.

Job alternation leave - Lainsäädäntö