Holidays and family leave in the context of temporary agency work

Agency workers accrue annual holidays according to the same rules as other kinds of employees. In practice, however, taking holiday may not be possible if the worker’s employment relationship is very short. In these cases, the worker is entitled to monetary compensation for the lack of holiday at the end of the employment relationship.

Agency workers who work several short employment relationships can be offered to take any annual holiday that they have accrued during their next period of work.

Agency workers can agree with their agency in writing that, in the event that the worker starts a new employment relationship soon after the end of their previous fixed-term employment relationship, no holiday compensation is payable and instead any annual holiday that they have accrued during their previous employment relationship can be taken during their next employment relationship.

It is the temporary agency’s responsibility to ensure that their employees are able to take any annual holiday that they are entitled to under the Finnish Annual Holidays Act. Agency workers must also be given an opportunity to express their preferences as to when to take their holiday. Holiday bonuses are not governed by the Annual Holidays Act but sector-specific collective agreements.

Agency workers are also entitled to family leave

Agency workers have a right to take family leave just like other employees. However, family leave can only be taken during an active employment relationship. Any fixed-term employment contract that would otherwise have ended before or during an agency worker’s family leave runs its course as normal and expires on the agreed date. An agency worker’s employment relationship cannot be terminated on the basis of the worker’s exercising their right to family leave.

Agency workers are entitled to temporary child care leave just like other employees.

Employers have no obligation to provide paid family leave unless the applicable collective agreement stipulates otherwise. However, per diems are payable by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland.

Agency workers have the right to stay off work to look after a sick child of theirs (temporary child care leave). Temporary child care leave can be used to arrange child care for a child under the age of 10 or to stay at home with the child temporarily for up to four working days. Agency workers must notify their employer (the temporary agency) about any need to take child care leave as soon as possible. The user company should also ideally be notified, unless there is a special notification procedure in place.