Skip to main content

Falling ill

If you fall ill or have an accident, you are entitled to sick leave. Inform the employer of your absence without delay. The length of your employment relationship and the duration of your incapacity for work affect your pay during the sick leave.

If you are prevented from doing your job by an illness or accident, you are entitled to sick pay. If requested, you must provide your employer with a reliable explanation of your incapacity for work.

If you have been employed for at least one month at the time of falling ill, you are legally entitled to sick pay for the day of falling ill (if it is a working day) and the workdays in the following nine weekdays. If your employment has lasted less than a month, half of your salary is paid for the same period. Collective agreements always contain better provisions on sick pay than legislation, so check your collective agreement first.

If your illness continues and the employer’s obligation to pay wages ceases, you can apply for a daily allowance paid by the Kela social insurance institution in accordance with the Health Insurance Act. The employer’s obligation to pay wages under the Employment Contracts Act ends when the employee is entitled to a daily allowance under the Health Insurance Act at the latest.

An employee is not entitled to sick pay if they have caused the incapacity for work intentionally or by gross negligence.

At the request of your employer, you must provide a reliable statement of your incapacity for work, such as a certificate issued by a doctor or nurse. Stipulations of collective agreements and the company’s practice influence the kind of statement is required from the employee. For example, you might have to present a clarification on your incapacity for work that your employer approves as a prerequisite for the sick pay. The employer can also have their own practices on presenting clarifications that concern all employees.

You have the right to postpone your annual leave from the first day of sickness if you are incapable for work at the beginning or during your annual leave due to an illness, accident or childbirth.

If you fall ill during your holiday, ask your employer to postpone the holiday immediately. Provide the employer with a proper clarification of the illness or accident, such as a medical certificate. You should also check your collective agreement’s provisions related to illnesses.

The period of incapacity for work due to an illness may coincide with another reason for absence. Absence is primarily considered to be caused by the first reason. For example, in the case of layoffs, your absence is considered to be due to an illness and you are paid sick pay if you were ill at the time of the layoff notification and still unable to work when the layoff period begins.

If you fall ill after the start of the layoff period, the layoff is the reason for your absence and your employer will not pay sick pay for overlapping periods of illness and layoff. If you fall ill after the layoff notice, you will receive sick pay until the layoff begins.

Guide to working life

Puzzled by the working life? Find answers here.

Are you wondering how to proceed?

As a member you have our support.

Contact us, we are happy to help you!

Join us today!

Access all benefits and services.

Membership includes earnings-related unemployment security.