Edited: 24.05.2016 - 13:57

Keywords: Working life, Employment terms and conditions

Annual holidays

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 2013. You receive six days of holiday, or a one-week holiday, in the summer of 2013. In the summer of 2014, you receive 24 days of holiday, or a four-week holiday, and another six days of holiday for the winter of 2014/2015.

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.

Accrual of holiday entitlement during absences

Annual holiday entitlement also accrues for any period of absence due to illness, accident or medical rehabilitation for a maximum of 75 working days, as well as for any period of maternity, special maternity, paternity and parental leave. Holiday entitlement does not accrue for a period of child care leave. Holiday entitlement also accrues for the duration of each period of 30 working days of a full-time temporary lay-off. If the lay-off is interrupted even for a short period of work, calculation of the 30-day period will start over when the lay-off continues.

For employees subject to the 35-hour holiday entitlement rule, the maximum periods considered equivalent to time at work are 105 calendar days for illness and rehabilitation and 42 calendar days for a lay-off within a holiday credit year.

Section 7 of the Annual Holidays Act includes a more specific list of periods for which holiday entitlement accrues. Collective agreements may also include such lists.

Relevant information