Annual leave is an important break from work

Annual Holidays Act is applied to all work performed as part of an employment relatioship or public service relationship. On the basis of the act, the employee is entitled to leave. If a collective agreement or civil servants’ collective agreement is applied, different provisions on rights to leave may be applied. During the annual holidays the employer cannot keep the employee at work. Annual leave cannot be paid out in money under any circumstances.

Collective agreement may improve your annual leave rights

As a rule, Annual Holidays Act is compelling right. This means that no poorer benefits than those provided by the Annual Holidays Act may be agreed upon, even with the approval of the employee.
In some collective agreements or civil servants’ collective agreements, however, improved conditions related to holiday bonus or the number of leave days may apply. The payment of holiday bonus is not compulsory. Check your employment contract whether a collective agreement applies and whether it includes special provisions on annual leave or holiday bonus.

Duration of leave is determined by holiday credit month

  • Duration of annual leave is determined by full holiday credit months.
  • A full holiday credit month is any calendar month during which the employee has accumulated at least 14 days at work.
  • For part-time employees who work less than 14 days a month, a calendar month during which the employee has accumulated at least 35 hours at work is considered as full holiday credit month.
  • When determining the number of full holiday credit months, please note that annual leave is also accrued by the time equivalent to days at work, as specified in the Annual Holidays Act. Time equivalent to days at work include, for example, annual leave, maternity, paternity or parental leave and paid sick leave.
  • Employee who works less than 14 days or 35 hours in all calendar months is, as the employment relationship continues, entitled to two working days off from work per each calendar month during which he or she has had an employment relationship.

The length of annual leave

  • Annual holidays are accrued between April 1 and March 31.
  • If, by the end of the holiday credit year, i.e. March 31, the employment relationship has continued for at least one year, the employee accrues 2.5 working days of leave every month and, in other cases, 2 working days per month.
  • The accrued annual leave days are not weekdays but working days, i.e. Saturdays which are not public holidays are counted in as well. A full holiday week is equivalent to six working days.
  • Religious holidays, Independence Day, Christmas Eve, Midsummer Eve, Easter Saturday and First of May are not working days. If one of these days falls into your annual holiday you do not consume your accrued leave. There are no provisions in the Annual Holidays Act as to whether your annual leave should include a certain number of Saturdays.

Read more on the timing of annual leave and pay during annual leave.

Please note that you can also carry over your annual leave.