Illness and employment relationship
- you must tell your employer as soon as you know how long you are going to be on sick leave
- your illness is not a legal reason for your employer to fire you
- however, if your illness means that you cannot work, in some cases the employer has the right to let you go.
Due to the situation caused by coronavirus, the content of this page may not be up to date. Up-to-date information is available at the Finnish Government´s website on page Questions on the effects of the coronavirus concerning employment.
You must tell your employer yourself. Do it as soon as you know when your sick leave starts. If you are too ill to do it yourself, one of your family members or the care staff will let your employer know. If you do not go to work because you are ill, and you do not tell your employer or bring in the medical certificate the employer asks for, the employer may give you a warning or let you go.
During the first ten days of your sick leave, you will receive wages paid by your employer. You may then get sickness allowance paid by Kela. If your employer pays you wages when you are sick also after the first ten days, either under the collective agreement in your field or your employment contract, Kela may pay your sickness allowance to the employer.
As a rule, no. Under law, you cannot fire an employee because they have an illness or a disability. However, if the illness affects your capacity for work significantly or over a long period and the employer cannot offer you work suitable for you, the employer may let you go. Employers who employ people in many kinds of duties, also have an obligation duty to look for and offer you suitable work in their other units or departments, not just the one in which you worked before.
If your employer knew about your long-term illness or disability when you made the employment contract, the employer cannot let you go just because you have an illness or a disability.
Yes. You must yourself talk to the employer as soon as possible and ask them to move your holiday. You also have the right to move your holiday if you know in advance that, for example, you are going to have an operation during your holiday, or you will be on sick leave for some other reason.
Different sectors interpret the law differently in cases where an employee falls ill during his/her annual leave. However usually you can take the other days of your holiday later.
You need to notify your employer about your illness immediately. Get also a doctor`s certificate and deliver it to your employer as soon as possible.
You can ask your employer to postpone your vacation. You can though only postpone the holiday following your personal liability days which are at most six.
Please note that you do not have the right to continue your holiday independently by the amount of your sick leave days. Your employer decides on the timing of your new holiday.
You are entitled to at least 24 days of annual holiday even if you have not accumulated that many days of holiday because of your illness. For example, if you have accumulated only 14 days of holiday, you will receive 10 additional leave days so that your annual holiday will total 24 days. However, if you have been on sick leave continuously for more than a year, you are no longer entitled to additional leave days.
Kela may reject your application for sickness allowance for example because your application has not been filled in correctly, or because Kela thinks that your capacity for work is already better. In this case, you have the right to talk to your doctor again and add more information to your application. In some cases, you can appeal the decision.
If you think that you are still not able to work and the doctor who treats you agrees, your employer will organise a meeting with the occupational health care services. At this meeting your possibilities of returning to your former job or some other duties will be discussed. If no other work can be found, the occupational health care doctor will write a new medical certificate for you so that you can get an extra period of sickness allowance or rehabilitation. Even if you are not able to work in your old job, you might be able to do something else.
If you do not have a job and your doctor says you are not well enough to work at the time Kela stops paying you sickness allowance, you have to register as an unemployed jobseeker and find out if you could be placed in a rehabilitation program.