The holiday bonus is an additional bonus that is 50% of your annual holiday pay. It is paid in addition to the normal holiday pay either after the annual leave, before it or in two installments before and after the leave. At some workplaces, holiday bonus can be changed for time off. In the past, holiday bonus required the employee to return to work after the holiday. This holiday bonus was originally called the ‘holiday return bonus’.
The holiday bonus is on a collective agreement, employment contract or workplace practice. The Finnish law mentions only that an employee is entitled to paid leave, which means that employee’s regular salary, including fringe benefits, will be paid during a holiday period. Legislation does not thus oblige the employer to pay a holiday bonus, which is a benefit negotiated by trade unions.
The holiday bonus should not be confused with holiday pay or compensation, as the two are based on law whereas holiday bonus is a negotiated benefit. Holiday pay refers to the regular salary, which is paid during holiday season. Holiday compensation refers to compensation paid at the end of the employment relationship. The holiday compensation compensates for unused holiday days.
Your holiday pay is based on how long you have worked in your current employment. Use the following formula to assess your holiday pay:
[Average monthly salary ] / 25 x [amount of holiday days] = holiday pay
The amount of your holiday days depends on how long you have worked for the same employer.
A) If your employment has lasted more than a year, you accrue 2.5 holiday days for every month during which you have worked for at least 14 days or 35 hours. This means 30 holidays if you work full-time and your employment has lasted over one year,
B) If your employment has lasted less than a year, you accrue 2 holiday days per month (provided that your monthly work amounts to least 14 days or 35 hours.
Holiday pay is paid according to how much you earn per month in average, it is not based on whether you are paid a monthly salary. Also a part-time employee can use the formula above to check the approximate amount of the holiday pay. However, if your salary is paid based on completed hours or working days, it may be calculated differently.
More information can be found in Annual Holidays Act (section 3).
When it comes to holiday-related matters, you should always first contact the shop steward of your workplace. The shop steward has often negotiated locally about the payment date of holiday bonus, and they can also help with any disagreements. If your workplace has no show steward or you do not know who the shop steward is, you can always contact our employee counselling service.
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