Work Rules and Legislation

Legal information about workplaces in Finland

There are collective agreements (työehtosopimus) for almost all work fields defining minimum wages, holidays, sick leave, working hours etc. They are legally binding, but an employer can give more than in the agreement but need to give at least the minimum terms and conditions from the agreement.

A written contract must always include:

  1. The parties to the contract of employment
  2. The start date for your employment (and the end day of your employment for a fixed-term contract)
  3. Your work-related duties
  4. Your working hours or minimum working hours
  5. Salary and its method of payment
  6. Place of work (community)
  7. Your trial period
  8. Workplace meals
  9. Mention of the collective agreement that the contract of employment observes

Read more about employment contracts.

Reasons for fixed term-contract:

  • deputyship
  • work experience placement
  • project work
  • peak demand or period

The probation period cannot be longer than 6 months. During this time the work relationship can be ended from either side without time of notice. The reasons for resolving the work relationship have to be non-discriminating.

Regular work hours are usually a maximum of eight hours a day and 40 hours a week. In certain fields the working time is only 37.5 hours per week. Work contracts often stipulate when to take breaks during the day. Lunch breaks are usually not included in working time. The amount of overtime is restricted: no more than 20 hours over a two-week period. Overtime must be agreed separately on each occasion and can only be expected with the consent of the trainee or employee, and the stipulated minimum overtime rate will be paid. Employers must keep records of all hours worked by employees; employees and trainees are also advised to keep track of their own hours.

Salaries are usually paid at the end of every month. Payment in advance is not normally possible. In Finland, payments of salaries are remitted electronically, and you will need a Finnish bank account.

Finnish law entitles employees to salaries during illness. If your employment relationship has lasted at least one month you are entitled to sick pay for nine days following the first day of sickness. If you fall ill and cannot go to work, you must call your supervisor immediately. Notification must be given in person. It depends on the company policy whether you need to provide a medical certificate of absence from the first day of illness or only if the illness lasts for more than three days. If you cannot return after 10 days of illness, you can apply for sickness allowance from Kela.

There is paid family leave when a child is born. For about 3 months maternity allowance is paid. The father can have a leave for up to 54 days, which is called paternity allowance. Following the maternity allowance starts the parental allowance that is about 6 months and is followed by the childcare allowance that can be used until the child turns 3. The allowances must be applied for at Kela.

The employer must apply the periods of notice which are specified by law, unless otherwise agreed.

The periods of notice are as follows:

  • 14 days if the employment has continued for one year or less
  • 1 month if the employment has continued for over one year but not longer than four years
  • 2 months if the employment has continued for over four years but not longer than eight years
  • 4 months if the employment has continued for over eight years but not longer than twelve years
  • 6 months if the employment has continued for over twelve years.

Unless otherwise agreed, the periods of notice which the employee must observe are as follows:

  • 14 days if the employment has continued for up to five years
  • 1 month if the employment has continued for over five years.

An employee is entitled to receive, on request, a testimonial of service from their employer at the end of the contract of employment. A testimonial of service is an important document specifying the duration of employment and the employee’s tasks. The employee can also ask that the reason why the contract of employment ended and an estimation of the employee’s skills and behaviour are included in the testimonial. (infoFinland)

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