Absences due to sickness 

During each calendar year, public officials are entitled to full pay for a maximum of 60 sick days. After that, they receive 75% of their pay. All days of sickness count towards the total number of days, but the number of sickness cases does not affect the payment. After the number of uninter-rupted days of absence exceeds 180 sick days, the employee receives 60% of pay. Public officials are entitled to sick pay on a continuous sick leave for a maximum period of one year. 

Employees are entitled to full sick pay for 21-35 days for each case of sickness, depending on how long the person has been employed in the 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. 

Family leaves 

Available family leaves include 
-    special pregnancy, pregnancy and parental leave
-    full and part-time childcare leave
-    temporary childcare leave 
-    absence for a child’s severe illness
-    absence for taking care of a family member or someone close
-    absence for compelling family reasons and 
-    informal care leave. 

Pregnancy and special pregnancy leave  

The pregnant parent may take pregnancy leave in maximum of 40 working days. Public officials and employees receive pay for the pregnancy leave. Entitlement to pregnancy leave starts 30 working days before the estimated due date of the baby. One can also agree with the employer to start the pregnancy leave later, but no later than 14 working days before the estimated due date.

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

Parental leave 

Both parents are primarily entitled to parental leave for 160 working days. Both parents are enti-tled to take parental leave primarily in maximum four periods and the duration of each period shall be at least 12 working days. 

Parental leave can be taken also part-time.

For both parents first 32 working days of the parental allowance period are paid (from 1 March 2023 onwards). The rest of the parental leave is unpaid, but during that period the parent receives parental allowance under the Health Insurance Act.

Childcare leave and part-time 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 working time in order to take care of a child. Both parents may take part-time childcare leave during the same cal-endar 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, work-ing hours are usually 6 hours a day, but other types of working time arrangements are also possible. 

Other family leaves

Temporary childcare leave is available when a child under the age of twelve 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 workdays at a time. Temporary childcare leave is paid. 

A child's severe illness entitles to unpaid leave of absence when a public official or employee par-ticipates in the child's care, rehabilitation, care instruction, adaptation training or other rehabilita-tion activities after agreeing in advance on the absence with the employer.

If it is necessary for public official or employee to be absent in order to provide special care for a family member or someone else close to him or her, the employer must try to arrange the work so that the person may be absent from work for a fixed period. The employer and the person shall agree on the duration of such leave and on other arrangements.

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. 

The public official and employee is entitled to take leave from work to provide personal assistance or support to a family member or a person the public official or employee has a relationship with and lives in the same household as the employee. A prerequisite for informal care leave is that a family member or other person with whom is the public official or employee has a relation needs significant assistance that requires the immediate presence of the public official or employee or support due to a serious illness or serious injury that has significantly reduced their functional ca-pacity. Informal care leave can be taken in maximum five workdays per calendar year.

Other absence 

Public officials and employees can take paid or unpaid leave for reasons such as rehabilitation, studies, trade association training, certain special days and situations related to close relatives, and participation in national defence, trade association activities and sports competitions.

Further information

Contracts (in Finnish) 

Contact information

Tanja Mikkonen
Ministerial Adviser
Tel. +358 2955 30341
[email protected] 

Maj Wilenius
Ministerial Adviser
Tel. +358 2955 30168
[email protected]