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Farmers' holiday and stand-in scheme

The farmers' holiday and stand-in scheme enables livestock farmers to call on help from farm relief workers to look after their animals while they take annual leave or sick leave, for example.

The annual leave entitlement for farmers is 26 days per calendar year. The annual leave is free of charge. In addition, agricultural entrepreneurs can receive stand-in help and additional leave at a subsidised price due to illness, for example.

The farmers’ holiday and stand-in scheme is intended to help livestock farmers cope at work by allowing them the opportunity to take a break from looking after their animals by themselves.

Livestock farmers can choose whether to use the stand-in services offered by the local administration or to arrange the stand-in help by themselves.

Who is eligible for holiday and stand-in services?

You are eligible for holiday and stand-in services if you meet the following conditions:

  • You work on a daily basis looking after farm animals
  • You have compulsory MYEL insurance as an agricultural entrepreneur or a family member, with some exceptions
  • Your livestock production is taxed in accordance with the Agricultural Income Tax Act (543/1967)
  • You have at least 6 animal units
  • You do not receive a pension that disentitles you to these benefits
  • Your farm is not a “farm in difficulty” according to EU agricultural subsidy regulations

In order to receive annual leave and subsidised leave, you must also work as a farmer on a full-time basis.

Tasks of farm relief workers

Farm relief workers are responsible for performing your everyday livestock tasks. In other words, they perform all tasks that are essential for the wellbeing of your farm animals.

Farm relief workers perform the tasks of the person who is on annual leave, receiving stand-in help or paying for subsidised stand-in help.

Stand-in services provided by local units

Stand-in services are organised by municipalities with which Mela has an agreement. These administrative regions consist of one or more municipalities and are referred to as local units.

Local units are responsible for making decisions related to the farmers’ holiday and stand-in scheme.

Once you have selected which services you require from your local unit, the local unit will then make all the necessary arrangements. Generally, stand-in tasks are performed by farm relief workers who are employed by the municipality.

If you choose to arrange stand-in help by yourself, the local unit will pay compensation for the help you have arranged. This stand-in help must be purchased from a company in the prepayment register or from a self-employed person (private trader).

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