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Home » Guide to working life » Employment relationships » Sick leave » Partial sickness absence and allowance
Last updated: 10.08.2023

Partial sick leave and partial sickness allowance

Sometimes when you have been sick, you may start work part time and get partial sickness allowance from Kela. This makes it easier to come back to work, and later work full time again.

The partial sickness allowance (osasairauspäiväraha) supports the worker and helps him/her return to full-time work. You may get partial sickness allowance when you are not yet able to work full time, and without the support, you would have to be on sick leave full time and get a full sickness allowance.

When you are on partial sickness allowance, your working hours must be 40–60% of your full hours.

Kela pays the partial sickness allowance

You can get partial sickness allowance for 12–150 weekdays. Apply for partial sickness allowance from Kela. The allowance is always half of your full sickness allowance. Kela calculates your sickness allowance using your taxable work income.

You can get partial sickness allowance if you have a full-time job. A full-time job means 30 hours/week or that your working hours follow the normal regular working hours of your line of work.

You may also get partial sickness allowance if you have several regular part-time jobs. If your total working hours are at least 30 hours/week, it counts as full time. Partial sickness allowance is then paid directly to you.

Should I stay on full-time sick leave or take a part-time contract?

If the worker has the right to a partial sickness allowance, s/he may get full wages as long as s/he has the right to a paid sick leave. Kela will then pay the partial sickness allowance to the employer. If the worker no longer has the right to paid sick leave, the employer will pay wages for the hours s/he has worked, and Kela will pay the partial sickness allowance to the worker.

It is possible, and recommended, to stop the payment of full sick pay when you are on partial sick leave, and to make a fixed-term hourly work contract. The employer then pays wages for the hours that the worker has worked, and Kela pays half of the sickness allowance directly to the worker. In this case, the sick pay (wages for the time when the worker is sick; sairausajan palkka) set out in the collective agreement is saved for later and can be used if the return to full-time work doesn’t go well, and the worker is still not able to work. 

How do I apply for partial sickness allowance?

Apply to Kela for the partial sickness allowance. You must get medical statement B (lääkärinlausunto B) from a doctor. In the statement, the doctor describes your ability to work and states that part-time work will not be a risk for your health and recovery.

The employer and the worker make a fixed-term written agreement for the time of the partial sick leave. The agreement must have all this information: how long the agreement period is, what hours will be kept (the hours now and the hours during the part-time period), the wages that will be paid for the part-time period, and how annual holiday days and holiday pay will be calculated for the partial sick leave period.

What if I can’t work part time?

If you are so sick that you can not work part time, the agreement ends. You will then get full-time sickness allowance.

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