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). Employees are also insured against accidents at work and occupational diseases. The rules also apply to Åland.

If you fall ill or you have an accident, you may be entitled, under certain conditions, to paid sick leave and sickness allowance. As an employee you are also insured against accidents at work and occupational diseases.

Paid sick leave

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

Sickness allowance

If you are covered by health insurance in Finland 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 to do your regular job. You may also be entitled to sickness allowance in other situations in life, for example when studying or as an unemployed jobseeker.

If you have been on sick leave 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 the self-employed, the waiting period is the first day of illness.

Daily allowances are determined based on your annual income. Annual income is usually calculated on a review period of the 12 calendar months preceding the calendar month before the start of work incapacity. 

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 work incapacity, you can apply for rehabilitation support or disability 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.

Are you a posted worker or have you at times worked in another Nordic country?

In calculating the amount of sickness allowance, annual income is only taken into account for the period when you have been covered by health insurance in Finland. If you are a posted worker and wages for insurance purposes have been defined for you, your income abroad is not taken into account in your annual income. It is the wages for insurance purposes that are taken into account. If no wages for insurance purposes have been defined, the taxable wages paid for work abroad or wages paid to a non-resident taxpayer are taken into account in annual earnings.

In exceptional cases you can declare wage income for a period when you were not insured in Finland if you have previously been insured in Finland and you have earned your income while employed in another Nordic country and you are again covered by insurance in Finland. This is conditional on you having no annual income at all from Finland. If in such a case the wage income earned in the other country is significantly lower or higher than the income from similar work in Finland, the income used as the basis of the daily allowances may be assessed according to the wage income that would be earned in Finland for similar work, based on the income of a person working in a similar role in Finland with comparable experience and qualifications to the person insured.

Accidents at work and occupational diseases

Employers are required to take out accident insurance for their employees. All employees are insured against accidents and occupational diseases at work and in work-related circumstances. There is a special system for students to compensate for accidents in practical training. 

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