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työ- ja elinkeinoministeriö

Job alternation leave and study leave

Job alternation leave

The purpose of job alternation leave is to make it easier for an employee to cope at work and at the same time offer an unemployed jobseeker the opportunity to gain work experience through fixed-term employment. It is also an opportunity for an employer to benefit from having someone with new skills and expertise on the staff. The employee and employer jointly agree on the employee’s option to take job alternation leave. The employee may use the leave any way he or she wishes. Whilst an employee is on job alternation leave their employment relationship is dormant.

The minimum period allowed for job alternation leave is 100 and the maximum period is 180 calendar days. The employee planning to take job alternation leave must have been employed for at least 20 years before the start of the leave. The job alternation allowance is 70 % of the unemployment allowance. Job alternation leave must begin no later than at the end of the calendar month the employee turns 60. However, the provi­sion on maximum age for job alternation leave shall not apply to persons born before 1957.

The substitute hired by the employer shall have been unemployed for a minimum of 90 calendar days continuously or in shorter periods during the previous 14 months. Alternatively, the substitute can be a person under the age of 30, who has graduated no more than one year ago, or a per­son, who is under the age of 25 or over the age of 55 at the beginning of the alternation leave period. The substitute must be registered with the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office) as an unemployed jobseeker at the time immediately preceding the alternation leave. An unemployed person need not be engaged for the same duties which the employee taking job alternation leave has temporarily ceased to be responsible for.

The system of job alternation leave is enacted permanent since 2010. Compliance with this Act is supervised jointly by the labour and ocupational safety and health authorities.


Job Alternation Leave, brochure, 2016


Study leave


The study leave system is a way to improve employees’ opportunities for training and study. Entitlement to study leave applies to employees,public servants in central and in local government. Someone whose employment relationship (main occupation) in the service of the same employer has lasted a total of one year, as one or more than one continuous period of time, is entitled to take study leave. The study must either take the form of government sponsored training in Finland or abroad, or be a course of training organised by a trade union.

Study leave may be taken for a maximum period of two years over a period of five years. It may be taken over one or more periods of time. If the employment relationship has lasted less than a year but no less than three months, the maximum period for study leave allowed is five days.

Study leave is unpaid, unless agreed otherwise separately with the employer. In general, no benefits which would normally have accumulated on the basis of employment accrue during the period taken for study leave. However, the employee will be entitled to annual holidays based on a maximum of 30 study leave days. Study leave may be interrupted on certain conditions.

Compliance with this Act is supervised jointly by the authorities responsible for education, labour, and ocupational safety and health, as provided for by decree.


Study Leave, brochure text, 2003

Page last updated: 21.03.2016

Further information

Guidance and supervision of  labour legislation: Occupational Safety and Health Admininstration (Osha), in English/Eesti keeles/По-русски

Job alternation leave:

Employment and Economic Development Offices


Job alternation leave

Johanna Nyberg

tel. +358 29 504 7021

Study leave
Nico Steiner

tel. +358 29 504 9001

Family leave
Sami Teräväinen
tel. +358 29 506 0088

Care for a family member or someone else close
Susanna Siitonen
tel. +358 29 504 8932

Call charges