If, in accordance with the employment contract, the employee works so seldom that they do not accumulate 14 days of work every month, the so-called 35-hour rule applies. According to this rule, a full holiday credit month is considered to be a month during which the employee has accumulated 35 hours at work or the equivalent of hours at work as referred to in the Annual Holidays Act. The 35-hour rule typically applies to those working part-time. If an employee works so seldom that they do not earn any annual holiday using either of the above methods, the employee still has the right to be given leave.
The employee accumulates two days of leave during the employment relationship for each calendar month in which the employment relationship has been in force. The employee is paid holiday compensation for such a leave (9% or 11.5% of the pay received or pay in arrears during the holiday credit year).
Granting annual holiday
The employer has the right to decide the time of the employee’s annual holiday. Before deciding the time of the holiday, the employer must, however, explain to the employees or their representatives the general principles observed at the workplace in the granting of annual holidays. The employer must also 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.
A total of 24 weekdays of the annual holiday must be taken in the summer holiday season, which is the period from 2 May to 30 September. 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.
The timing of the annual holiday must be confirmed no later than one month before the start of the holiday. If it is not possible to give notification one month before, notification of the timing of the holiday must be given at least two weeks before the start of the holiday. The notified timing of the holiday is binding upon the employer. If the employer postpones the annual holiday, the employers is obligated to compensate for any damages caused by this postponement. These damages may be, for example, the costs incurred due to a cancelled holiday trip. In spite of the above, the postponement of the holiday to another date can be mutually agreed upon by the employee and the employer.
Falling ill during the holiday
In the unfortunate event that the employee falls ill during their annual holiday, they have the right, at their request, to have the days when they have been incapacitated for work included in the annual holiday that exceed six holiday days postponed to a later date. Despite the waiting days, employees have the right to a minimum of four weeks of annual holiday if they have accrued at least 24 weekdays of annual holiday in the year the holiday was earned. Instead, if the employee falls ill before the holiday, the holiday must be postponed to a later date.
The right to have the holiday or part of it postponed requires the employee to notify the employer of their incapacity for work before the start of the holiday. The waiting days are calculated per holiday credit year; they can also be accrued on individual days and they do not have to be consecutive. Because of this, employees should immediately notify the employer of illnesses that last less than one week as well.