Improving and maintaining employees’ competence


Study leave

An employer may take study leave to participate in studies subject to public supervision in Finland or abroad. All employees are entitled to study leave when the full-time employment relationship with the same employer has lasted for at least one year in one or more periods.

The maximum length of study leave in the same employer’s service is two years over a period of five years. If the employment has lasted for less than a year but at least three months, the maximum length of study leave is five days.

Study leave and the prerequisites for using the leave are laid down in the Study Leave Act and Study Leave Decree, see also Osha: Study leave, Frequently asked questions. 

Further information

Guidance and supervision of  labour legislation: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Osha)
Law drafting: Seija Jalkanen, seija.jalkanen(at), Johanna Ylitepsa, johanna.ylitepsa(at)

Financially-supported development of employee's professional skills

Under the Employment Contracts Act, an employer is obligated to see to maintaining and improving the competence of personnel in an employment relationship so that they can perform their work even when the operation of the enterprise, the work task or working methods change.

The employer is also obligated to arrange training for temporarily laid-off employees and employees who are offered other work as an alternative to termination, if training is necessary for accepting the new assignment.

When arranging training to improve professional competence for employees in employment relationships, the employer may receive financial support. The financial support and prerequisites for receiving the support is laid down in the Act on Financially-Supported Development of Professional Skills.

Further information

Guidance and supervision of  labour legislation: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Osha)
Law drafting: Elli Nieminen, elli.nieminen(at), Anette Laiho, anette.laiho(at)

Job alternation leave and compensation

Job alternation leave scheme will shut down in August 2024 (

An employee’s job alternation leave is subject to an agreement between the employer and the employee. The employee can use the leave as he or she sees fit. During the job alternation leave, the employee’s employment relationship is dormant.

The employer must hire a substitute for the duration of the job alternation leave. Only a person registered as an unemployed jobseeker in an Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office) may be hired.

The employee taking the job alternation leave receives a job alternation compensation for the duration of the leave. The compensation is paid by an unemployment fund or the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela). More detailed information concerning the conditions for job alternation leave is available from the TE Office, unemployment funds and Kela.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for the management, guidance and development of the labour-policy aspects of the job alternation leave scheme while the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for matters related to job alternation compensation.

Job alternation leave and compensation (