Job alternation leave and compensation

Job alternation leave provides

  • employees with an opportunity to improve their coping at work
  • unemployed job-seekers with a chance to gain work experience and to maintain and improve their labour market skills
  • employers with a chance to introduce more flexibility and new skills into the work community.

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. The employee’s employment relationship is dormant during the job alternation leave.

Conditions for job alternation leave

An employee planning to have a job alternation leave

  • must have a work history of at least 20 years and
  • must have worked for the same employer for an uninterrupted period of at least 13 months, which may include an unpaid absence of no more than 30 calendar days.

 Job alternation leave may not start after the calendar moth during which the employee gains the age which corresponds with the lower age limit, minus three years, for old-age pension under the Employees Pensions Act. The provision on the upper age limit does not apply to persons born before 1957. The job alternation leave must last at least 100 and no more than 180 calendar days.

Substitute during job alternation leave

The employer must hire a substitute for the duration of the job alternation leave. The substitute must have been registered as an unemployed jobseeker in an Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office) for at least 90 calendar days during the 14 months preceding the job alternation leave.

The 90-day requirement does not apply if the unemployed job-seeker is

  • aged under 30 and has completed a vocational qualification or university degree shortly before being hired as a substitute
  • under 25 years or
  • over 55 years.

The employer does not need to employ the substitute in the duties of the person taking the job alternation leave.

Job alternation compensation

The employee taking the job alternation leave receives a job alternation compensation for the duration of the leave. The compensation amounts to 70% of the daily unemployment allowance and it is paid by an unemployment fund or Kela.

Management, guidance and development of the labour-policy aspects of the job alternation leave scheme are the responsibility of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. Management, guidance and development of the job alternation compensation are the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.


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