Returning to work from a family leave 

Are you currently on a family leave?

  • At the end of an employee's family leave, he/she is in the first place entitled to return to his/her former duties.
  • If this is not possible, the employee must be offered equivalent work in accordance with their employment contract, and if this is not possible either, other work in accordance with their employment contract. 
  • Approximately a third of all economists encounter problems when returning to working life after a leave. Either the job has vanished or its contents or requirements have weakened.  In unclear cases, we advise you to contact The Finnish Business School Graduates' Legal Counsels.
  • If you take a childcare leave after a parental leave, check the issues to be taken into account.

On a family leave, many begin to consider new career options. The Finnish Business School Graduates' career coaches will provide coaching in your career considerations. You can also consider your career choices by reflecting on your values and desires.

What if your job has vanished during a family leave?

An employee returning from a family leave often encounters problems when getting back to work. Problems arise due to, for example, changes taking place in job descriptions and organisations at an accelerated pace. The actual situation of an employee returning from a family leave often is that his/her former duties have been cut up or no longer exist. This problem is especially well-known in large companies where organisational restructuring takes place at short intervals.

What work is an employee entitled to return to?

  • An employee returning from a family leave primarily returns to the duties which he/she left and upon which has been agreed upon in his/her employment contract.
  • If the former position no longer exists, the employer must give grounds for this.
  • If the employment terms change, the employer must provide information on the contents of the changes within a month from the employee's return to work, along with an account of what has happened to the former position.
  • The employer does not have to tell the returning employee about work available to him/her before the family leave ends, although this is not good personnel policy. The employer may choose to only give information about the work after the employee has returned, since by default, the employee returns to his/her former duties.
  • Not all notices of termination to employees returning from family leaves are automatically illegal.
  • Contact The Finnish Business School Graduates' Legal Counsels if you encounter problems when returning from a family leave.