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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 job seeker who has registered with the TE Services 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

  • you an opportunity for a longer leave which you can use in a manner of your choice; for example, for studying, taking care of your 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 and
  • 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 security 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

In order to take job alternation leave, you must be in an employment relationship or public-service employment relationship or in another comparable employment relationship. You must be a full-time employee or your 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.

You cannot retire directly from 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.

You can take job alternation leave if you have been working 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.

In order to take a new job alternation leave, you must have accumulated new work history of five years after the end of the previous job alternation leave.

In the alternation leave agreement, the employer must undertake to hire a person who has registered with the TE Services as an unemployed job seeker 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 job seeker prior to the start of the job alternation leave.

The service is free of charge.

Basic information

The service is provided byTE Office
Other responsible organisationsLapland TE Office, Pohjois-Pohjanmaa TE Office, Uusimaa TE Office, Etelä-Pohjanmaa TE Office, Pohjois-Savo TE Office, Etelä-Savo TE Office, Kainuu TE Office, Varsinais-Suomi TE Office, Kaakkois-Suomi TE Office, Pohjois-Karjala TE Office, Pohjanmaa TE Office, Keski-Suomi TE Office, Pirkanmaa TE Office, Satakunta TE Office, Häme TE Office
Responsible for the serviceTE Office
Area Whole Finland (except Åland)
Available languagesSwedish, Finnish
Text edited by: TE Office
Updated: 4/8/2022