Sickness allowance in Finland

Suomen sairauspäiväraha
This page tells about the ways in which employees’ income is secured during periods of sickness. The possible options are paid sick leave and sickness allowance paid by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela). The rules also apply to Åland.

Paid sick leave

As an employee you are entitled, under certain conditions, to get sick pay from your employer according to the provisions of the Employment Contracts Act and collective agreements. You must then provide your employer with a statement of your incapacity for work. In practice this usually means providing a doctor’s certificate.

Sickness allowance

If you live permanently in Finland and you are covered by Finnish social security and are aged between 16 and 67, you can get sickness allowance. Sickness allowance is paid as compensation for loss of income due to your incapacity for work. Sickness allowance is usually paid based on your confirmed taxable earnings. Allowances can also be paid if you have been studying, have been unemployed or if your income has varied.

If you have been on sick leave prescribed by a doctor for 10 working days (first day of illness + 9 following working days), you can get sickness allowance from Kela. Employers are obliged to pay wages for a 10-day waiting period. For self-employed persons, the waiting period is 4 days (first day of illness + 3 following working days).

If you are paid for a period of illness, Kela pays the sickness allowance to your employer. If payment of wages ends during the period of illness, the sickness allowance is paid to you. If your illness leads to long-term unfitness for work, you can apply for rehabilitation support or pension.

Are you moving to Finland?

If you move to Finland and you are receiving sickness allowance from another EU or EEA country or Switzerland, your country of departure will probably pay the benefit until the end of the payment period, even if you move to Finland.

Are you moving to Finland or from Finland to another Nordic country?

If you move from Finland to another EU or EEA country or Switzerland during a sickness allowance period, payment of the sickness allowance from Finland will continue despite your move until the end of the payment period.

Accidents at work and occupational illnesses

Employers are obliged to take out accident insurance for their employees. All employees are insured for occupationally acquired accidents and illnesses. There is a special system for students that compensates for accidents during practical training. There are 13 insurance providers in Finland providing statutory accident insurance.

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