Who can receive alternation leave compensation?

Alternation leave is an arrangement based on an alternation leave agreement between the employee and their employer. For the same period as the job alternation leave, the employer hires a person who has registered with the TE Office as an unemployed job seeker. The job alternation leave can last from 100 to 180 days. You can apply for a job alternation allowance from the unemployment fund for the period of the alternation leave. The unemployment fund pays the job alternation allowance to its members who have joined the unemployment fund at least 26 weeks before the start of the alternation leave. If you do not belong to an unemployment fund or have been a member of an unemployment fund for less than 26 weeks, apply for the alternation allowance from Kela. In order to take an alternation leave and to receive alternation allowance,
  •  your working hours must have been at least 75% of a full-time employee's working time,
  • your employment relationship with the same employer must have lasted continuously for at least 13 months before the start of the alternation leave, and
  • you must have at least 20 years of employment history before the start of the job alternation leave.

Employment condition

To take a job alternation leave, your employment relationship with the same employer must have lasted continuously for at least 13 months before the start of the job alternation leave. This 13-month period may include a maximum of 30 days of unpaid absences. If you have been absent from work due to illness or an accident, the absence can be equated with employment. Other absences, such as child-care leave, cannot be counted towards the working condition. Partial child-care leave, on the other hand, is included in the employment requirement if the working hours have been at least 75%. If the partial child-care leave has been taken in such a way that you have been absent from work for full days, they are counted towards unpaid days of absence.  

Employment history requirement

To take a job alternation leave, you must have at least 20 years of employment history in accordance with the Employees Pensions Act before the start of the job alternation leave. If you have previously been on alternation leave and have received alternation allowance, you must have at least 5 years of work history after the previous alternation leave before you can take a new alternation leave. The unemployment fund checks the length of your employment history in the up-to-date earnings-related pension statement of the Finnish Centre for Pensions when processing the application for alternation allowance. If necessary, you can ask us to check your work history already when you are planning to take alternation leave. You do not need to send us an earnings-related pension statement because we get it directly from the Finnish Centre for Pensions.  

Jobs calculated in employment history

  • paid employment carried out from the age of 18
  • work performed under the age of 18, if completed by 31.12.2006
  • work done as an entrepreneur if the business has been subject to compulsory pension insurance
  • working as a posted worker
  • work performed in EU Member States, in a country belonging to the European Economic Area or in Switzerland, if you provide the unemployment fund with an adequate and reliable account of your work or the time deemed to be worked. Work or comparable time can only be included in the employment history if both Finland and the country of work have been part of the EU territory during the period of work.

Times comparable to employment

A maximum of 5 years of employment history can be equivalent to employment. The following periods can be taken into account as comparable to employment history:
  • you have been paid maternity, special maternity, paternity or parental allowance or special care allowance
  • you have been on child-care leave based on a work contract or collective labour agreement
  • you have performed military or non-military service.
If the comparable periods are not included in the earnings-related pension statement of the Finnish Centre for Pensions and the employment history is not filled without them, submit reliable reports on the comparable periods to the unemployment fund.  

Upper age limit

An upper age limit has been set for those on alternation leave. Job alternation leave must be started at least 3 years before the minimum age for old-age pension under the Employee Pensions Act has been reached. However, the upper age limit does not apply to persons born before 1957.

Become a member

Unemployment fund membership gives you security if you ever become unemployed. We offer our members fast, friendly and professional service in unemployment security matters.

  • Membership fee is only €7/month.
  • You can join us regardless of what sector you work in.
  • Union members also get support for employment contract matters.
  • Secure your future. We are here for you!