Can I take job alternation leave?

You can take job alternation leave if your full-time employment with the same employer has lasted for at least 13 months before the leave begins. Employment with working hours that are more than 75% of the full-time hours applicable to the sector is considered full-time employment. The period of 13 months may include unpaid absence of no more than 30 calendar days in total. Absence due to illness or accident, both paid and unpaid, is considered comparable to employment. Unpaid absence due to any other reason (e.g. temporary lay-off) may not exceed 30 calendar days during the period of 13 months.

An employment history of at least 20 years before the start of job alternation leave is a prerequisite for the leave. All pensionable employment, including self-employment, is included in the employment history. Work that you have undertaken before reaching the age of 23 can also be included in the employment history. Time comparable to employment, such as family leave and military and non-military service, is also counted towards the employment history. This time comparable to employment can account for a maximum of one quarter of the employment history.

Employment in EU/EEA countries or Switzerland is also taken into account when calculating the employment history.

If you have previously taken job alternation leave, you must have been employed for five years since the end of the previous leave before the new leave begins.

Restrictions to job alternation compensation

You are not entitled to job alternation compensation if you

  • receive pay, annual holiday pay or other compensations or remunerations from your employer. Fringe benefits whose payment has been agreed upon in the job alternation agreement are not considered pay;
  • carry out military service, voluntary military service for women or non-military service;
  • are imprisoned in a penal establishment;
  • are in full-time employment lasting more than two weeks for another employer;
  • are full-time self-employed;
  • receive old-age pension, guarantee pension, early old-age pension or individual early retirement pension in accordance with the National Pensions Act or employment pension acts;
  • receive maternal, paternal or parental allowance; or
  • receive rehabilitation allowance or indemnity for loss or earnings in accordance with accident or motor insurance.

The use of job alternation leave is linked to the currently valid old-age retirement age under the Employees Pensions Act so that the upper age limit is the minimum old-age retirement age minus three years. The upper age limit applies to those born in 1957 or later.