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EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS ACT

(55/2001, amendments up to 398/2013 included) 

 

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Chapter 4

Family leave 

Section 1 (533/2006). Maternity, special maternity, paternity and parental leave 

Employees shall be entitled to take leave from work during maternity, special maternity, paternity and parental benefit periods as referred to in the Sickness Insurance Act. Employees shall be entitled to take parental leave in one or two periods, the minimum duration of which shall be 12 working days.

Section 2. Work during maternity or parental allowance terms (1076/2002)

During the maternity allowance term the employee is, with the employer's consent, entitled to perform work that does not pose a risk to her or to the unborn or newly born child. However, such work is not permitted during a period of two weeks before the expected time of birth and two weeks after giving birth. Both the employer and the employee have the right to discontinue work done during the maternity allowance term at any time.

The employer and the employee may agree on part-time work and its terms during the parental allowance period prescribed in section 23, subsection 2, of the Sickness Insurance Act. The employee’s right to partial parental allowance is prescribed in section 21, subsection 4, of the Sickness Insurance Act. (1076/2002)

Agreement shall be reached on discontinuing part-time work or altering its terms. If agreement cannot be reached, the employee is entitled for a justified reason to discontinue part-time work and return either to the parental leave referred to in section 1 of this chapter or to his previous working hours. (1076/2002)

 

Section 3 (533/2006). Child-care leave

Employees are entitled to take child-care leave in order to care for their child or some other child living permanently in their household until the child reaches the age of three. The entitlement to child-care leave of a parent of an adopted child, however, continues until a period two years has elapsed from the adoption, or at the most until the time the child starts school.

Child-care leave can be taken in one or two periods of at least one month, unless the employee and the employer agree on more than two periods or a period shorter than onemonth. Only one parent or person having the care and custody of the child is entitled to child-care leave at one time. During maternity or parental leave, the other parent or person having care and custody is nonetheless entitled to take one period of child-care leave.

 

Section 3 a (533/2006). Notification of maternity, paternity and parental leave and child-care leave

The employee shall notify the employer of maternity, paternity or parental leave or childcare leave at least two months before the intended start of the leave. In case the duration of this leave is no more than 12 working days, however, the period of notification is one month.When giving notification of leave to care for an adopted child, the notification period prescribed above should be observed whenever possible. In case observing the notification period of two months is not possible because of the spouse starting employment and the consequent need for child care arrangements, the employee shall be entitled to take parental leave one month from the date of the notification, unless this results in a serious inconvenience to production or service operations of the workplace. If the employer feels unable to consent to the notification period of one month, the employer shall inform the employee of the grounds for this refusal. 

For a justified reason, the employee shall have the right to change the time and duration of the leave by notifying the employer thereof no later than one month before the change takes effect. However, the employee shall have the right to take maternity leave earlier than intended and to change the time of paternal leave intended to be taken in connection with childbirth, in case this is necessary because of the birth of the child or the state of health of the child, mother or father. In that case, the employer shall be notified of the change as soon as possible. The parent of an adopted child shall have the right to change the term of the leave before the leave starts for a justified reason by notifying the employer at the earliest possible date.

 

Section 4. Partial child-care leave

An employee who has been employed by the same employer for a total period of at least six months during the previous 12 months is entitled to take partial child-care leave in order to care of his or her child, or some other child living permanently in the employee’s household, up to the end of the second year during which the child attends basic education. If the child is covered by the extended compulsory school attendance referred to in section 25 subsection 2 of the Basic Education Act (628/1998), however, partial child-care leave is available until the end of the child’s third school year. The parent of a disabled child or a child with a long-term illness in need of particular care and support may be granted partial child-care leave until the time the child turns 18. Both of the child’s parents, or persons having the care and custody of the child, are entitled to take partial child-care leave during the same calendar period, but not simultaneously. The employee must submit a proposal to the employer on partial child-care leave at the latest two months before the leave will begin. (533/2006) The employer and the employee shall agree on partial child-care leave and the detailed arrangements concerning it as they see fit. The employer cannot refuse to agree on or grant such leave unless the leave causes serious inconvenience to production or service operations that cannot be avoided through reasonable rearrangements of work. The employer must provide the employee with an account of the grounds for its refusal. If an employee is entitled to partial child-care leave, but it is not possible to reach agreement on the detailed arrangements, the employee shall be granted one period of partial child-care leave in a calendar year. The duration and timing of the leave shall be according to the employee's proposal. In such cases, the partial child-care leave shall be granted by reducing the regular working hours to six hours per day. The reduced working hours shall cover a continuous period, notwithstanding rest periods. If regular working hours have been arranged on the basis of an average, the average shall be reduced to 30 hours per week.

 

Section 5. Interruption of partial child-care leave

Any changes in partial child-care leave shall be agreed on. If it is not possible to reach an agreement, the employee has the right to interrupt partial child-care leave for a justified reason, observing a notice period of at least one month. 

 

Section 6. Temporary child-care leave

If the employee's child or some other child who is under 10 years of age and who lives permanently in the employee's household falls suddenly ill, the employee shall be entitled to temporary child-care leave for a maximum of four working days at a time in order to arrange for care of the child or to care for the child personally. This entitlement also applies to a parent who does not live in the same household with the child. The parents of a child entitled to temporary child-care leave shall have the right to take temporary child-care leave during the same calendar period, but not simultaneously. (533/2006)

The employee shall notify the employer of temporary child-care leave and of its estimated duration as soon as possible. If the employer so requires, the employee shall present a reliable account of the grounds for temporary child-care leave.

 

Section 7. Absence for compelling family reasons

Employees shall be entitled to temporary absence from work if their immediate presence is necessary because of an unforeseeable and compelling reason due to an illness or accident suffered by their family. Employees must notify the employer of their absence and its reason as soon as possible. If the employer so requests, employees must present a reliable account of the grounds for their absence.

 

Section 7 a (197/2011). Absence for taking care of a family member or someone close to the employee

If it is necessary for an employee to be absent so that he/she may provide special care for his/her family member or someone else close to him/her, the employer must try to arrange the work so that the employee may be absent from work for a fixed period. The employer and the employee shall agree on the duration of such leave and on other arrangements, taking into consideration the employee’s needs and the employer’s production and service activities.  

Return to work in the middle of the agreed leave must be agreed on between the employer and the employee. If agreement cannot be reached, the employee may discontinue his/her leave for a justifiable reason by informing the employer of his/her return no later than one month before the date of return to work.

On request, the employee must present the employer with proof of the grounds for absence and for its discontinuation.

 

Section 8. Obligation to pay remuneration

The employer is not required to pay the employee remuneration for the duration of a family leave referred to in this chapter. 

Nonetheless, the employer shall compensate a pregnant employee for loss of earnings incurred from medical consultations prior to the birth if it is not possible to arrange the consultations outside working hours.

 

Section 9. Return to work

At the end of a leave referred to in this chapter, employees are in the first place entitled to return to their former duties. If this is not possible, employees shall be offered equivalent work in accordance with their employment contract, and if this is not possible either, other work in accordance with their employment contract. 

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