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Responsible for the service TE Office

Taking job alternation leave

  • Service
  • Nationwide except the Åland Islands
  • Public service

Job alternation leave is an arrangement concerning a longer leave which is agreed upon with the employer and which releases you from the duties pertaining to your employment relationship for a fixed period of time. Your employer undertakes to hire an unemployed jobseeker who has registered with the TE Office for the duration of your leave.

The duration of the leave is at minimum 100 and at maximum 180 calendar days.

Job alternation leave offers:

  • the employee taking the leave an opportunity for a longer leave which they may use in a manner of their choice; for example, for studying, taking care of their children or other relatives or for rest or hobbies
  • an unemployed person (the substitute) an opportunity to maintain and develop their working skills through a fixed-term employment relationship and to improve their chances at finding a job
  • the employer a channel for recruiting new employees and the opportunity to make their work community more flexible and complement it with new know-how.

Do the following

Establish with the party paying your unemployment benefit whether your employment history is sufficient for taking job alternation leave well in advance before preparing the alternation leave agreement. In addition, contact the TE Office in order to find out what the requirements of job alternation leave are.

Conclude a written agreement about the job alternation leave with your employer (alternation leave agreement). Make the agreement in three copies and deliver one of the completed copies which has been signed by both parties to the TE Office well in advance before the start of the job alternation leave.

In addition, send to the TE Office your substitute’s employment contract, letter of appointment or another reliable document that proves that they have been hired for the duration of your job alternation leave before the start of the leave or immediately after the leave has started.

To whom and on what terms

The employee taking job alternation leave must be in an employment relationship, a public-service employment relationship or in another comparable relationship. The person taking job alternation leave must be a full-time employee or their working hours must exceed 75% of the conventional full-time working hours in the industry in question. A full-time entrepreneur cannot take job alternation leave.

It is not possible to retire directly after job alternation leave. The maximum age of the person beginning their job alternation leave is three years before their old age pension can start at the earliest. The maximum age does not apply to persons born before 1957.

An employee can take job alternation leave if they have worked for 20 years before the leave. A maximum of one quarter of this period may comprise of time comparable to employment, that is, time in which you have been paid maternity, special maternity, paternity or parental allowance or special care allowance. In addition, time spent on child care leave or in military or non-military service is considered time comparable to employment.

A requirement for taking another job alternation leave is having five years of new employment history after the previous job alternation leave.

In the alternation leave agreement, the employer must undertake to hire a person who has registered with the TE Office as an unemployed jobseeker for the duration of the job alternation leave. The employer may hire a substitute who has been unemployed for at least 90 calendar days in one or more periods during the 14 months preceding the start of the job alternation leave. The substitute may also be a person who is under 30 years old and who has graduated not longer than one year ago or a person who is less than 25 years or more than 55 years of age at the start of the job alternation leave. The substitute must have registered as an unemployed jobseeker with the TE Office directly prior to the start of the job alternation leave.

The service is free of charge.

Basic information

Responsible for the serviceTE Office
Other responsible organisationsLappi TE Office, Etelä-Savo TE Office, Etelä-Pohjanmaa TE Office, Varsinais-Suomi TE Office, Keski-Suomi TE Office, Pirkanmaa TE Office, Häme TE Office, Pohjanmaa TE Office, Pohjois-Karjala TE Office, Kaakkois-Suomi TE Office, Pohjois-Savo TE Office, Uusimaa TE Office, Kainuu TE Office, Satakunta TE Office, Pohjois-Pohjanmaa TE Office
The service is provided byTE Office
Area Whole Finland (except Åland)
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish
Text edited by: TE Office
Updated: 9/27/2019