Kuvaaja
Outi Kainiemi
Kirjoittaja
Mikaela Karavokyros
Translation: Apropos Lingua

Hot holiday questions

COVID-19 affects nearly everything, except the accumulation of annual leave if the authorities place you in quarantine.

I was ordered into quarantine by the authorities and could not work during that period. Does this affect the accumulation of annual leave? Kind regards, Harri

Hello, Harri! No, it does not. In the situation you describe, you will accumulate annual leave for the quarantine period because you were prevented from working as a result of an official decree issued to prevent the spread of an infectious disease.

I am a full-time employee with monthly pay. In May I took three weeks of unpaid leave. Did I accumulate annual leave for the month of May? Kind regards, Martina

Hey, Martina! As a full-time employee with monthly pay, the 14-day entitlement rule applies to you. This means that you will accumulate annual leave for calendar months where you have had at least 14 days of either work or activity equivalent to work as defined separately in legislation. Unpaid leave is not seen as activity equivalent to work. Because you had 3 weeks of unpaid leave in May, the 14-day criterion is not met and therefore you did not accumulate annual leave for the month of May. 

I would like to have my summer leave in September. Is this possible? When does the summer holiday period end? Kind regards, Sirpa

Hi, Sirpa! The summer holiday period is 2.5. – 30.9. So, it is possible to have your summer holiday in September. Naturally, this requires that the timing of your holiday is also acceptable to your employer.

My supervisor just called and told me my summer holiday begins the day after tomorrow. I think this information reached me pretty late. What does the law have to say about this? Kind regards, Kalle

Hello, Kalle! You are right. According to the Annual Holidays Act, the employer must notify employees of the timing of their holiday one month before the holiday is to begin at the latest. If this is not possible, the employer may issue the notification later, but no later than two weeks before the holiday is to begin.

We just had a baby. Can the employer tell us that we have to be on annual leave during paternity or maternity leave? Kind regards, Matti & Maija

Hello, Matti & Maija! The employer may not order an employee to have their annual leave during paternity or maternity leave without their consent. Congratulations on your new bundle of joy!

For the last five years, my employer has not allowed me to have my summer holiday when I have wanted to have it. Is the employer allowed to do this? Kind regards, Ritva

Hello, Ritva! The employer is obligated to allow employees the opportunity to express their wishes regarding the timing of their holiday and take these wishes into account whenever possible. When scheduling holidays, the employer should strive for balanced and equal treatment of employees. If an employer fulfils the wishes of some employees while disregarding the wishes of others year after year, it might breach this principle of equal treatment. However, this is not the case if the timing of the holidays is justifiable because of the employee's work tasks or position within the company.

My workplace, Company X, does not pay holiday bonuses. Is this legal? Kind regards, Terhi

Hi, Terhi! There is no mention of holiday bonuses in legislation. Most often the right to a holiday bonus is based on a collective labour agreement. If your workplace is not obligated to adhere to any collective agreements, the employer does not have to pay holiday bonuses unless the matter has been agreed upon in the employment contract. However, many companies have holiday bonus practices in place regardless.

There is no mention of holiday bonuses in legislation.

I have decided to switch workplaces and I handed in my notice at my current job. What happens to my holidays? Kind regards, Ville

Hello Ville! You will keep accumulating annual leave normally during the period of notice. Handing in your notice does not affect your right to have holidays, nor does it affect the employer’s right to determine the timing of holidays: all the principles that apply to annual leave also remain in effect during the period of notice. As your employment relationship ends, you will be paid holiday compensation for the holidays that you have not had the time to take. The amount of the holiday compensation is calculated using the same principles used in the calculation of annual leave pay.

My employment relationship began on 1.1.2021. I am a full-time employee with monthly pay and I have not missed a single day of work. According to legislation, how much holiday have I accumulated for the summer of 2021? And have I accumulated any winter holidays for the winter 2021/2022? Kind regards, Heikki

Hello, Heikki! As a full-time employee with monthly pay, the 14-day entitlement rule applies to you. This means that you will accumulate annual leave for calendar months where you have had at least 14 days of either work or activity equivalent to work as defined separately in legislation. Because your employment relationship had been ongoing continuously for under one year at the end of the holiday calculation period (which ended on 31.3.2021), you have accumulated 2 workdays of holiday for each month from January to March, which comes to a total of 6 workdays. All of these days are summer holiday days and you have not yet accumulated any winter holiday, as winter holiday is formed by those accumulated holidays that exceed 24 workdays.

Note! These answers are based on the Annual Holidays Act. Sometimes collective agreements may contain provisions that differ from the Annual Holidays Act in holiday-related matters.

The author works at TEK as an employment lawyer.

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