Conditions for claiming compensation

You can take job alternation leave if:

  • you have been working full-time (more than 75 per cent of the maximum working hours agreed for the sector)
  • you have agreed with your employer to take job alternation leave
  • your employer will hire an uneployed person (who meets the requirements laid down in the Act on Job Alternation Leave) for the duration of your leave
  • your employment with the same employer has continued without interruption for at least 13 months before your leave begins, and
  • you have been working for at least 20 years before your leave begins.

There is an age limit for job alternation leave. You must start your job alternation leave at least three years before you reach the minimum old-age retirement age. The age limit does not apply if you are born before the year 1957.

The employment period of 13 months may include unpaid absence of no more than 30 days. Only absence resulting from sickness or accident may be regarded as time comparable to employment.

If you have previously taken job alternation leave, you must work for five years between two leaves.

If you are unsure about meeting the condition regarding employment history, contact your unemployment fund. If you have questions about the other requirements for taking job alternation leave, contact any TE Office.

Employment history information

Before taking job alternation leave you must obtain your pension record (also referred to as the employment record) to confirm that you meet the condition regarding previous employment of 20 years. The periods that meet the condition regarding previous employment include:

  • paid employment;
  • self-employment with a compulsory self-employed person’s insurance;
  • employment as a posted worker; and
  • insured employment in the EU/EEA countries and Switzerland.

Work undertaken between the ages of 18 and 22 also meets the condition regarding previous employment for job alternation leave.

A maximum of one quarter of your employment history may consist of time comparable to employment, which includes periods of:

  • maternity, special maternity, paternity and parental allowance;
  • special care allowance;
  • child home care leave; and
  • military and non-military service.

Employment outside the EU/EEA countries and Switzerland is not counted in the employment history for job alternation leave.

Calculation of earnings-related pensions changed on 1 January 2007: your employment prior to that date accumulates according to the hours worked, whereas from 1 January 2007 your employment is calculated by comparing your annual income with the limits of the basic pension under the Employees’ Pension Act.


To confirm your employment history, request your pension record from the Finnish Centre for Pension. From 2012 pension records also include information on earnings from public sector jobs, such as municipal, state and church employment.

Online pension records


Unemployment funds pay job alternation compensation under provisions laid down in legislation. For the laws and decrees governing job alternation compensation, visit the government online database of legislative and other judicial information at For a list of the key laws and decrees, click this link:

Laws and decrees

Sivu päivitetty viimeksi 07.01.2016

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