Summer is here. And, hopefully, summer holidays, too. If employed, the Finnish Annual Holidays Act says that you have the right to a paid annual holiday.
The minimum length is stipulated in the legislation, but many trade unions have reached better deals in their collective agreements.
If there is no specific provision for annual holidays in the collective agreement, the law will apply. Union shop stewards can inform you what the situation is in your workplace.
As a rule of thumb, an employee will earn annual holiday pay for every month which includes at least 14 working days. Such months are called full holiday credit months (lomanmääräytymiskuukausi).
Should your work be part-time or infrequent and does not make up 14 full working days in a month, another rule applies. Then, 35 working hours per calendar month is enough to earn annual holiday pay.
You earn days of holiday by working during the holiday credit year (lomanmääräytymisvuosi), from 1 April to 31 March. If your employment has continued uninterrupted during this time, or longer, you have the right to 2.5 days paid holiday days for every month.
Have you been employed for less than one year, the right to a paid annual holiday is only two days per month.
In most workplaces, a holiday bonus is paid, too. This is not based on legislation, it comes from the collective agreements.
When using the earned holidays, Saturdays are also counted in, even though you are not working on Saturdays. This means that for every holiday week you use six earned leave days.
As a general rule, employees will get their regular pay during the holidays. In most workplaces, a holiday bonus is paid, too. This is not based on legislation, it comes from the collective agreements. For this reason, the rules may vary, but in general it is 50 per cent of the pay you will get on your annual holiday.
The holiday bonus is a result of the metal workers’ seven week strike in 1971. One of the predecessors of the Industrial Union, the Metal Workers’ Union, got it in their collective agreements back then. The practice soon spread to practically all collective agreements.
Illness might hit during the annual holiday. If you have four weeks or less annual leave, illness does not cut your holiday or pay. You have the right to postpone your holiday. Of course, you must notify your employer without delay.
Those with at least five weeks annual holiday have a six holiday days´ waiting period before the employer must postpone the rest of the holiday. This means that you lose a maximum of one week of your annual holiday.
When you fall ill before the holiday, the employer must postpone your annual holiday if you ask. A proper medical certificate is needed in all cases.
The Industrial Union website in English: www.teollisuusliitto.fi/en.