Partial sickness allowance

The purpose of the partial sickness allowance is to help persons who are unfit for work to remain in work and to return to full-time work.

Returning to work on a part-time basis is a voluntary arrangement requiring the consent of both the employer and the employee. It must not put at risk the employee's health or recovery. The work schedule must be reduced to 40-60% of what it was.

The arrangement on part-time work is made on the basis of an evaluation by an occupational health doctor or other doctor familiar with the circumstances at work. The part-time arrangement must last at least for an uninterrupted period of 12 working days. This includes Saturdays.

The partial sickness allowance is payable for a maximum of 120 working days. After the maximum is reached, it can be paid on account of the same illness only if the claimant has in the meantime been fit for work for at least one year.

Persons returning to work after having been paid partial sickness allowance for the maximum period of time can get an additional 50 days of partial sickness allowance once they have been in work for a consecutive period at least 30 days.

The partial sickness allowance can be paid for a specified maximum period. You can get partial sickness allowance even if you have already been paid the regular sickness allowance for the maximum period of time.

Waiting period

Employees must be absent from work throughout the waiting period. The waiting period must be completed before part-time employment can begin. The waiting period consists of the first day of illness and the following 9 working days.

You can check the dates of the waiting period with this calculator. The partial sickness allowance is available without having to complete a waiting period if it follows immediately upon the payment of regular sickness allowance or rehabilitation allowance.

The waiting period is one working day, if you are again unfit for work for a reason for which you already received sickness allowance within the previous 30 days.

Example

A supervisor with an electrical installation company who occasionally performs manual installation work recently underwent an operation on his shoulder and is therefore partly unfit for work. He talks to his employer about working part time, and suggests that he could cut his schedule by 50% and concentrate on his supervisory duties. The occupational health doctor evaluates whether he is able to return to work while receiving partial sickness allowance without putting at risk his recovery from the operation.

If the part-time work is interrupted

If your part-time work is interrupted temporarily due to for instance annual holiday, illness or your child’s illness, the partial sickness allowance can be paid in the normal manner during the interruption. A prerequisite for this is that the agreement on part-time work remains in force during the interruption.

If the agreement on part-time work ends for the duration of the interruption and continues after the interruption, the payment of partial sickness allowance is ended for the duration of the interruption and continues again afterwards in accordance with the agreement on part-time work. The payment of partial sickness allowance can continue without any waiting period, if you have been incapable of work during the interruption.

If you are fit for work during the time that the agreement on part-time work is not in force, a waiting period will be applied to the partial sickness allowance paid after the interruption as follows:

  • 1 day, if the previous period of partial sickness allowance ended less than 30 days earlier
  • 1+9 days, if the previous period of partial sickness allowance ended more than 30 days earlier.

No waiting period is applied if you have been granted rehabilitation allowance for the duration of the interruption.