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  • Duration of annual holiday

    An employee earns annual holiday according to the working months. The duration of annual holiday is affected by the duration of the employment relationship.

    As a general rule, a full holiday credit month is a month during which an employee has accumulated at least 14 days or 35 hours at work, depending on the earning rule. Annual holiday is accumulated during the holiday credit year, or the period from 1 April to 31 March inclusive.

    If, by the end of the holiday credit year, the duration of the employment relationship has been an uninterrupted period of less than one year, the employee earns two weekdays of holiday for each full holiday credit month. For example, if the employee’s employment relationship started on 1 September 2015, he/she earns a total of 14 days of holiday from the holiday credit year from 1 April 2015 – 31 March 2016.

    In an employment relationship that has lasted for at least one year, an employee is entitled to two and a half weekdays of holiday for each full holiday credit month. Holidays longer than that have often been agreed on in collective agreements and civil servants’ collective agreements.

    In considering whether an employment relationship has lasted for one year, it shall have lasted for at least one year by 31 March. If the employment relationship has started on 1 April in the previous year, the requirement for one year is fulfilled. If the employment relationship has started after 1 April, this requirement is not fulfilled.

    Employees, to whom the 35-hour earning rule is applied and who receive other than weekly or monthly pay, shall receive percentage-based holiday pay. If the employment relationship has lasted for less than one year by the end of the holiday credit year, the holiday pay shall be 9% of the salary paid during the previous holiday credit year (minus increase for overtime pay). If the employment relationship has lasted over one year by 31 March, the holiday pay shall be 11.5%.

  • Taking the annual holiday

    As a general rule, a total of four weeks (24 weekdays) of the annual holiday, or summer holiday, must be granted in the holiday season from May–September (holiday season from 2 May – 30 September). The rest of the holiday, or one-week winter holiday, must be granted by the start of the following holiday season, during the period from 1 October to 30 April.

    According to the Annual Holidays Act, annual holiday is consumed by weekdays, except for Sundays, church festivals, Independence Day, Christmas Eve, Midsummer Eve, Easter Saturday and the First of May. Saturdays are considered weekdays that consume the annual holiday. Annual holiday need not include a specific number of Saturdays, but the time of the annual holiday decides how many Saturdays the annual holiday includes. If holiday is taken for a full week from Monday to Sunday, it consumes six days of holiday.

  • Agreeing on the timing

    An employee is granted annual holiday at a time determined by the employer, unless the employer and the employee agree on arranging the holiday in the manner referred to below. A total of 24 weekdays of the annual holiday must be taken in the holiday season (summer holiday). The rest of the holiday (winter holiday) must be granted by the start of the following holiday season. Summer holiday and winter holiday must each be granted as uninterrupted periods unless, for work continuity reasons, it is essential to divide the portion of the summer holiday exceeding 12 weekdays into one or more parts.

    If the granting of a holiday during the holiday season results in substantial difficulties for the employer’s operations in seasonal work, the summer holiday may be granted outside the holiday season during the same calendar year.

    The employer and the employee may agree that the employee will take the portion of the holiday that exceeds 12 weekdays in one or more periods. The employer and the employee may agree on setting the annual holiday in a period that starts at the beginning of the calendar year which includes the holiday season and ends the following year before the start of the holiday season. Furthermore, an agreement can also be made on the taking of the portion of the holiday exceeding 12 weekdays within one year of the end of the holiday season.

  • Consulting the employees

    The employer must explain to the employees or their representatives the general principles observed at the workplace in the granting of annual holidays. Before determining the timing of the holiday, the employer must grant the employees an opportunity to express their views on the matter. The employer must, as far as possible, take the proposals of the employees into consideration and observe impartiality in the timing of the holidays. If no agreement can be reached on the timing of the holiday, the employer can decide when the holiday will be taken.

  • Giving notification of the timing of the annual holiday

    When determining the timing of the holiday, the employer must notify the employees of this no later than one month before the start of the holiday. If this is not possible, notification of the timing of the holiday may be given at a later date. However, the notification must be given at least two weeks before the start of the holiday.

  • Arranging annual holiday during an employee’s time off or period of notice

    The employer may not, without the consent of the employee, determine that the annual holiday starts on an employee’s day off if this would mean a reduction in the number of days of holiday for the employee. An amount of holiday that is three days or less may not, without the consent of the employee, be granted if a day of that holiday would fall on a day on which the employee, under his or her duty schedule, has a day off.

    The employer may not, without the consent of the employee, determine that the annual holiday takes place at the same time as the employee’s maternity or paternity leave. If, because of maternity or paternity leave, the employee’s annual holiday cannot be granted in the manner required by the Annual Holidays Act, the holiday may be granted within six months of the end of the leave.

    If an employee wishes to take his/her accumulated holiday before the end of the employment relationship, it shall be agreed on with the employer. If it has not been specifically agreed that the holidays will be taken before the end of the employment relationship, the employee cannot alone decide on taking the holidays. The employer may also order that the accumulated holidays shall be taken during the period of notice. The employer shall, however, comply with the provisions of the law concerning the notification period and granting holidays on the employee’s days off. After the end of the employment relationship the employee is entitled to holiday compensation for holidays not taken. If all holidays have been taken before the end of the employment relationship, the employee may also be entitled to holiday bonus on the basis of a collective agreement, even if he/she did not return to work.

  • Illness and incapacity for work at the start of and during annual holidays

    If an employee at the start of his or her annual holiday or part of it is incapacitated because of childbirth, illness or accident, the holiday must, at the request of the employee, be postponed to a later date. The employee also has, at his or her request, the right to have the holiday or part of it postponed if it is known that during his or her holiday the employee has to receive medical treatment or other comparable treatment during which he or she will be incapacitated.

    After falling ill or becoming incapacitated for work during a holiday, the employee has six waiting days. For those days the employee is not entitled to have the annual holiday postponed. If the illness or incapacity for work continues for more than six days, the employee is entitled to have the holiday postponed by the number of days of illness or incapacity for work.

  • Carrying over annual holiday

    The employer and the employee may agree that the portion of the holiday that exceeds 18 days be taken during the following holiday season or thereafter as carried-over holiday. The employee has the right to carry over any portion of his or her holiday exceeding 24 days, provided that this does not cause any serious harm to the production and service operations at the workplace.

    The employer and the employee must negotiate about the carrying over of annual holiday and the number of days of holiday to be carried over no later than the time the employer consults the employees about the timing of the annual holiday, as laid down in the Annual Holidays Act.

    The carried-over holiday must be granted to the employee in the calendar year or years that he or she decides. If it is not possible to agree on a more precise timing of carried-over holiday, the employee must give notification about taking the carried-over holiday no later than four months before it starts.

  • Holiday pay

    An employee has the right to receive at least his or her regular or average pay for the time of his or her annual holiday. Employees with weekly or monthly pay shall receive their normal pay during the holiday. Other than temporary additions shall be added to the holiday pay of those with monthly pay. The holiday pay shall be paid to the employee before the start of the holiday. It is, however, permitted to pay the holiday pay for a maximum holiday period of six days on the pay day generally applied in the employment relationship.

    The holiday pay of employees with hourly pay or piecework pay (to whom the earning rule of 14 days shall be applied) is generally determined on the basis of multipliers determined according to the average daily pay and the number of holidays. The average daily pay is determined by dividing the pay for the working hours during the holiday credit year (1 April – 31 March) by the number of working days. One-eighth of the overtime carried out shall be added. When the average daily pay has been calculated, the amount of holiday pay is determined by multiplying the average daily pay by the multiplier in section 11 of the Annual Holidays Act as follows:

    Employees, to whom the 35-hour earning rule is applied and who receive other than weekly or monthly pay, shall receive percentage-based holiday pay. If the employment relationship has lasted for less than one year by the end of the holiday credit year, the holiday pay shall be 9% of the salary paid during the previous holiday credit year (minus increase for overtime pay). If the employment relationship has lasted over one year by 31 March, the holiday pay shall be 11.5%.

  • Holiday bonus

    An employee is not entitled to holiday bonus without a specific agreement. The payment of holiday bonus is based on either a collective agreement, the employment contract or the practice applied at the workplace. Holiday bonus shall be paid either in conjunction with the annual holiday pay before the start of the holiday or after the holiday, depending on the agreement. There are different provisions on holiday bonus in different collective agreements. All collective agreements do not provide the possibility to change the holiday bonus for holidays. If that is possible according to the collective agreement, the changing of the holiday bonus for holidays shall be agreed on with the employer. The employee does not have a subjective right to that.

    The amount of holiday bonus is 50% of the holiday pay. Usually returning to work after the holidays is a requirement for receiving the holiday bonus, and it is often paid in two instalments, before and after the holiday.

  • Holiday compensation

    Holiday compensation usually refers to such sum of money which is paid to the employee at the end of the employment relationship for the holidays that the employee has not taken. Holiday compensation equals the annual holiday pay that the employee would have received if he/she had taken a holiday. So no holiday compensation remains to be paid, if the employee has taken all of his/her holidays at the time the employment relationship ends. The employer and employee can freely agree between themselves that the earned holidays are taken during the period of notice.

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