Illness and quarantine
In accordance with the Finnish Employment Contracts Act or the collective agreement, the employer is under the usual obligation to grant sick pay to an employee who has fallen ill with the coronavirus. The sick pay in accordance with the Employment Contracts Act is 1+9 days, but a longer sick pay obligation may have been agreed in the collective agreement applicable to the employment relationship. If the employee remains unable to work after the employer’s sick pay obligation has ended, the employee has the right to apply for Kela’s sickness allowance.
According to the Employment Contracts Act, the employee must inform the employer of their absence due to sickness immediately. The Employment Contracts Act also states that, on request, the employee shall present the employer with a reliable account of their incapacity for work. Many workplaces have a policy where an employee may be absent from work for 3 days, for example, due to incapacity for work. Follow your employer’s policy when stating your absence due to sickness.
If the employee or their child under the age of 16 is placed in quarantine by the authorities due to exposure to the coronavirus, the employee may agree on remote work with the employer, if possible. However, not all work tasks enable remote work. In that case, the employee may be entitled to Kela’s sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease to get reimbursement for their loss of earnings.
Granting the sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease requires the fulfilment of one of these three conditions:
- the municipal physician in charge of infectious disease has ordered the employee to be absent from work;
- the hospital district’s physician in charge of infectious disease has placed the employee in quarantine or isolation; or
- a person placed in isolation or quarantine in an EU or EEA country, Switzerland or the UK has a certificate from a physician entitled to issue such restrictions in the country in question.