Annual holidays are governed by the Annual Holidays Act (162/2005) and the Employment Contracts Act (55/2001). There are specific provisions on annual holidays governing the commercial sector, the property services sector and the tourism, restaurant and leisure services sector, for example.
If a collective agreement does not include specific provisions, the Annual Holidays Act will apply.
Accrual of holiday entitlement
As a general rule, employees will accrue annual holiday entitlement for every calendar month including at least 14 working days. Employees who work so infrequently that they do not accumulate any months with 14 working days will accrue annual holiday entitlement for those months during which they have worked at least 35 hours.
A calendar month for which you accrue holidays is known as a full holiday credit month.
Annual holiday entitlement accrues between 1 April and 31 March, which is known as a holiday credit year.
- If your employment has lasted less than a year by 31 March, you’ll accrue 2 weekdays of holiday for every full holiday credit month.
- If your employment has lasted at least a year by 31 March, you’ll accrue 2.5 weekdays of holiday for every full holiday credit month. Some collective agreements specify a better accrual of annual holiday entitlement than provided by law.
Your employment started on 1 January 2020. You receive six days of holiday, or a one-week holiday, in the summer of 2020. In the summer of 2021, you receive 24 days of holiday, or a four-week holiday, and another six days of holiday for the winter of 2021/2022.
If you work so little that you don’t accrue holidays
Employees who work so infrequently that they do not accrue any holidays are entitled to receive two weekdays of leave for every calendar month in which the employment relationship has been in force. Employees who have worked for the same employer under several consecutive fixed-term contracts are entitled to take leave to the extent that they have not been able to take a holiday. They are also entitled to receive holiday compensation payable for such a period of leave.
Earning holiday during absences
Annual holiday is also accrued from periods of illness, accident or medical rehabilitation, among others, up to a maximum of 75 working days, as well as from maternity, speciality maternity, paternity and parental leave. With the amendment to the Annual Holidays Act of 1 April 2016, this is 156 days. Holiday is not accrued from periods of childcare leave. Holiday is also accrued from full-time lay-offs for 30 working days at a time. If a lay-off is interrupted and you return to work, even for a short period, the 30-day count starts again when the lay-off is resumed.
Annual holiday is also accrued from periods of illness, accident or medical rehabilitation, among others, up to a maximum of 75 working days, as well as from periods of maternity, speciality maternity, paternity and parental leave (min. 6 months). This could lead to a situation where calculated pay has to be added to the total (e.g. total earnings in holiday credit year €19,000 + sick pay paid for 4 weeks €1440, calculated pay for 7 unpaid sick days is €504 = €20,944 x 11.5% = €2408.56). Holiday is not accrued for periods of childcare leave.
If you are covered by the 35-hour earning rule, the period considered equivalent to time at work is, in the case of illness and rehabilitation, a maximum of 105 calendar days and, in the case of lay-off, 42 calendar days in a holiday credit year.
An amendment made to the Annual Holidays Act on 1 April 2019 means that if annual holiday from illness, accident or rehabilitation is less than 24 days (4 weeks), the employee gets additional days off supplementing annual holiday. These changes apply to holiday earned from the start of the holiday credit year beginning on 1 April 2019. Thus the rules that were in place previously apply to holidays earned before then.
Section 7 of the Annual Holidays Act contains a detailed list of the days off for which holiday is accrued. You can also find a list in the collective agreements.
Use the calculator to check your annual holiday and holiday pay here (in Finnish).