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Occupational health and illness

There are comprehensive public and private healthcare services in Finland. Employers also offer occupational health care services to their employees. On this page, we talk about occupational healthcare, illness, accidents at work and vocational rehabilitation.

When you fall ill, contact your local health and social services centre (sosiaali- ja terveyskeskus) or occupational health care (työterveyshuolto) services. There, you can make an appointment with a doctor or nurse.

You can find more information on how healthcare is organised in Finland on the page Health services in Finland.

If you fall ill or have an accident, you have the right to stay home from work. Report your absence to your supervisor immediately.

Occupational health care services

According to Finnish law, an employer must arrange preventive occupational healthcare that is available to all of its employees. The employer must tell you which services you can receive through occupational health care. The occupational health care contract must be available for viewing at your workplace. You can check it to see which services you can get through occupational health care. The duration or form of employment do not matter. The purpose of occupational health care is to promote the health, working capacity and safety at work of the employees. The services of occupational health care are free of charge to employees.

Occupational health care may offer employees, for example, regular health checks. Some workplaces can have severe enough health hazards that health checks are mandatory. Working nights, for example, is such a health hazard.

If symptoms are due to work, their examination and treatment is always covered by occupational health care services. The employer can decide for itself whether occupational health care also covers other medical care and visits to a doctor, psychologist or physiotherapist. The employer must tell you which services and what kind of support you can get from occupational health care. The services are also described in the occupational health care contract. It must be available for viewing at the workplace.

The right to occupational health care does not extend to the employee’s family.

Occupational health care staff are bound to professional secrecy. They will not share your information with your employer unless you specifically give them permission to do so. Occupational health care may, however, give your employer an evaluation on whether or not your health allows you to continue to work.

Link redirects to another websiteOccupational Safety and Health Administration

Information about occupational health care

Link redirects to another websiteMinistry of Social Affairs and Health

Occupational health care

Pay during illness

If you fall ill and cannot come to work, notify your supervisor immediately. Your supervisor will tell you whether you need to get a medical certificate immediately or only on the fourth day of your sick leave.

If your employment has continued for more than a month before you fall ill, you will receive full pay for at least the day you fell ill and for nine days after the day you fell ill. If you are unable to return to work after these ten days and are covered by Finnish social security, you can apply for sickness benefit from Kela. Employers may also pay wages for a longer period of time. The amount of sickness benefit paid depends on your income.

The collective agreement specify different terms on pay during sick leave. Check the collective agreement or ask your trade union.

Read more on the InfoFinland pages Finnish social security and Support during illness.

Link redirects to another websiteThe Social Insurance Institution of Finland, Kela

Sickness allowance

Link redirects to another websiteThe Social Insurance Institution of Finland, Kela

Applying for sickness allowance

When a child falls ill

If a child under 10 years of age suddenly falls ill, one of the parents can stay at home to take care of the child. If you have to stay at home to take care of a sick child, notify your supervisor immediately. This type of temporary child care leave can last for up to four days. The collective agreement specifies whether or not wages will be paid for this period. If there is no collective agreement in the sector, the employer does not need to pay wages for this period.

Read more: Children’s health.