Absence due to sickness 

In each calendar year, public officials are entitled to full pay for a maximum of 60 sick days. After that, they receive 75% of their full pay. All days of sickness count towards the total number of days, but the number of sickness cases does not affect the benefit payment. After the number of uninterrupted days of leave exceeds 180 sick days, the employee receives 60% of full pay. Since 1 April 2015, public officials have been entitled to sick pay on a continuous sick leave for a maximum period of one year. Employees are paid a full sick pay for 21 to 35 days for each case of sickness, depending on how long the person has been employed in central government. Employees receive a part payment of their salary (two thirds of the pay) for a maximum period of one year. In the case of an accident at work or an occupational disease, sick pay is paid for periods slightly longer than those mentioned above. In these cases, persons are entitled to full pay for 90 days per case of sickness. 

Family leave 

Available family leave includes maternity, special maternity, paternity and parental leave; full, part-time and temporary childcare leave; and absence for compelling family reasons. 

Maternity leave 

The mother of a child may take maternity leave of 105 working days. Public officials and employees receive pay for the first 72 working days of maternity leave. The rest of the maternity leave is unpaid, but during that period Kela (Social Insurance Institution of Finland) pays the mother maternity allowance under the Health Insurance Act. 

Parental leave, paternity leave and special maternity leave 

The maximum length of unpaid parental leave is 158 working days, during which the parent receives parental allowance under the Health Insurance Act. Both parents are entitled to take full or part-time parental leave. 

Fathers are entitled to take paternity leave for up to 54 working days. Of these, the first 6 days are with pay. Paternity leave may be taken between 0 and 18 working days over a maximum of four periods during maternity and parental leave. The rest of the paternity leave (36–54 working days) may be taken immediately after the end of parental leave or postponed until the child reaches the age of two, over no more than two periods. 

In some cases, special maternity leave may be necessary before the birth of a child if the mother’s work poses a risk to prenatal development. 

Childcare leave 

Childcare leave is unpaid. It can be used by both parents until the child reaches the age of three. However, only one parent can take leave at a time. 

Part-time childcare leave means that the public official or employee works shorter hours in order to take care of a child. Both parents may take part-time childcare leave during the same calendar period, but they may not look after the child at the same time. Parents may take leave until the end of the child's second year in primary school. When taking part-time childcare leave, working hours are usually 6 hours a day, but other types of working time arrangements are also possible. 

Temporary childcare leave is available when a child under the age of ten suddenly becomes ill. In such cases, the parent may be absent in order to care for the child or to arrange the care. The maximum duration of leave is four working days at a time. Temporary childcare leave is paid. 

Public officials and employees are entitled to take temporary leave if their immediate presence is required because of an unforeseeable and compelling reason due to an illness or accident suffered by their family. 

Other absence 

Public officials and employees can take paid or unpaid leave for reasons such as rehabilitation, compelling family reasons, a child’s difficult illness, studies, trade association training, certain special days, situations related to family members, and participation in national defence, trade association activities and sports competitions. 

Contact information

Jouko Hämäläinen
Ministerial Adviser
Tel. +358 2955 30486
[email protected]