Skip to content

Home Work life guide page Family leave Returning to work from family leave

Returning to work from family leave

Provisions concerning the right of persons returning to work from family leave are laid down in chapter 4, section 9 of the Employment Contracts Act. An employee who has a valid employment relationship at the end of the family leave primarily has the right to return to his or her previous duties on the same terms of employment.

If the company makes, for example, organisational changes, the employer must take into account the protection against dismissal of persons  who return from family leave to new duties. If it is not possible to return to your previous duties, the employer is obliged to offer as similar tasks as possible in accordance with the employment contract. The extent of the obligation to provide work tasks depends on how the duties have been agreed in the employment contract.

The employer may not hire new employees for the same or similar tasks that a person on family leave has performed. The company must use substitutes and fixed-term employees to carry out the duties in question. In relation to substitutes, employees returning from family leave have priority to return to their former duties.

If the duties remain the same as before the start of the family leave, the terms and conditions of the employment relationship will also remain the same. General pay increases must be made in accordance with collective agreements. If the duties change compared to the previous one, the terms of employment are also determined according to the new job. In most cases, however, the change in terms and conditions can only be implemented after the period of notice has elapsed from the return to work.