Employee’s job alternation leave

Job alternation leave is an arrangement in which you agree on a longer leave with your employee. As an employer, you undertake hiring an unemployed job seeker who has registered with the TE Office for the duration of the leave.

Agree on job alternation leave with your employee. You must hire an unemployed job seeker to replace the employee on leave, but the tasks do not have to be the same. Those taking job alternation leave can use the leave as they wish. Remember to check if their employment history is sufficient for taking job alternation leave with your unemployment fund or Kela well in advance of the planned job alternation leave.

Job alternation leave will be abolished

Parliament has approved the government's proposal to repeal the act governing job alternation leave, resulting in the cessation of payments for job alternation compensation. Job alternation leave can be initiated by July 31, 2024.

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Job alternation leave benefits both you as an employer, your employee, and the unemployed job seeker who becomes a substitute, as

  • the employee taking job alternation leave will cope better,
  • an unemployed job seeker is given an opportunity to gain work experience in a fixed-term employment relationship, and
  • as an employer, you can obtain new competence for the work community.

The maximum age for an employee taking job alternation leave is three years before their old age pension can start at the earliest. However, the maximum age does not apply to persons born before 1957. 

Job alternation leave lasts for a minimum of 100 days and a maximum of 180 days.

Those taking job alternation leave must have a work history of at least 20 years and must have worked for the same employer continuously for at least 13 months. This period can include an unpaid period of absence of a maximum of 30 days. The work history will be reviewed by the payer of the job alternation allowance, i.e., an unemployment fund or Kela.

The person recruited as a substitute for the job alternation leave must be registered as an unemployed job seeker in the TE Services. The substitute recruited for the position shall be a person who

  • has been registered as an unemployed jobseeker in the TE Services for a minimum of 90 days during the 14 months preceding the substitution,
  • is under the age of 30 and has graduated with a vocational or higher education degree less than a year ago, or
  • is under the age of 25 or over the age of 55 at the start of the job alternation period.
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