Our guide to Finnish employment contract terms

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In this blog post, we list our blogs on Finnish employment contract terms. Together, they form a guide of sorts to Finnish employment contracts. 

However, if you are looking for a more thorough discussion on Finnish employment relationships, you can enroll in our “Working in Finland” online course. It’s available here. If, on the other hand, you need just a short introduction to Finnish employment contracts, we have a quick mini-course on that as well. You can find it here.  

As of today, our blog archive includes 154 blog posts. In those posts, we have covered various topics related to the Finnish labor market, Finland, and Finnish culture. Now, the archive is so extensive that it makes sense to build some of those blogs into guides on different topics. These allow you to find the information you are looking for easier and faster. 

Previously, we have already produced one such a guide around salaries. Our “ultimate guide to salaries in Finland” is a widely read and shared resource on Finnish salaries for internationals employed or looking to be employed in Finland. We hope this guide will be the same on Finnish employment contract terms. 

Want to ensure you know how Finnish employment relationships work? Take our extensive “Working in Finland” online course and you’ll know! Get it now from our online store!

Getting to know Finnish employment contracts and relationships

If you are just thinking about finding a job in Finland and really don’t know anything about Finnish employment relationships and the rules and legislation that govern them, you should start from the basics. 

First of all, you need to know whether the relationship you are about to enter with an organization is actually an employment relationship or not. You also need to know why the exact nature of the relationship is important. Sometimes you might run into offers and opportunities that on the surface may seem wonderful. When examined more closely, however, they might actually not be so wonderful at all. Your labor might actually be in danger of being exploited. Our blog “Employee or not: how to tell the difference?” helps you determine whether the opportunity you are considering is actually a proper job.  

Next, there are legal requirements as to the format and content of Finnish employment contracts. Our blog post “Finnish employment contracts” discusses these issues. While a written contract is standard these days, the Finnish Employment Contracts Act doesn’t actually require a written contract. It does, however, enumerate the issues about which the employer should inform the new employee. The blog post lists those. 

Thirdly, other things in addition to laws define Finnish employment contract terms. Being aware of this additional context increases your understanding of why things are the way that they are in the Finnish labor market. 

A major defining factor of the Finnish labor market is the level and history of unionization in Finland. Trade unions and trade union activity have to a large extent contributed to the current nature of employment relationships in Finland. They’ve also played a large role in current social policies related to work and particularly work-life balance. This role is perhaps best visible in Finnish salary systems but elsewhere as well. For example, Finnish family leave policies would not be what they are without trade unions and trade union activity. 

In this blog post, we talk about trade unions in Finland and explain why joining a union is very much worth considering. In this one, we explain what collective agreements are and why collective agreements negotiated by those trade unions affect your Finnish employment relationship. 

Blogs on specific employment contract terms

In addition to our archive including general information about Finnish employment contract terms, we also have blogs about specific terms. 

We have explained, for example, that by law employment relationships are permanent by default. Fixed-term need to have valid reasons. In this blog, we explain what such valid reasons may be. 

One of the things you’ll discuss in your employment contract negotiations is your working hours. In this blog, we go through the basics of the Finnish Working Hours Act. In this blog, we go beyond the legal standards and look at working hours in practice. 

During the height of the Corona pandemic, may employees in Finland faced terminations or layoffs/furlough. The steps an employer can take to terminate or furlough employees are legally mandated. In this blog, we go over those steps. 

Non-competition agreements or clauses are not a standard part of Finnish employment contract terms. Employees are, however, sometimes asked to sign them. In this blog from mid-2021, we talked about some of the legal changes that were planned for 2022 around this issue. We haven’t updated the blog since, but the changes mentioned in the blog did indeed take effect on Jan 1, 2022, as planned. 

Employers in Finland are legally mandated to offer their employees occupational healthcare services. So, access to such services is part of your employment contract terms. However, the legally mandated version of this service is actually more akin to occupational health and safety requirements and services than real healthcare services. We explain in this blog what this means for you and your family. 

The impact of collective agreements on Finnish employment contract terms

Some of our blogs also specifically discuss the impact of different collective agreements have on employment contract terms in Finland. 

We explain, for example, why the Ascension Day in May is a paid day off for some and for some, it isn’t. This particular blog also shows how politics, and labor market politics, can change around a single issue over the years.

In other blogs, we show that collective agreements often define terms set in law even further. If they are, the terms set there are always better for the employees than those in law. The law sets the minimum level. Collective agreements can always do better. As can, by the way, practices set by individual companies. How vacation days are earned during employment is one of these issues. 

Together, these blogs form a unique English-language guide to Finnish employment contract terms. This guide, however, is still quite basic. To really understand your rights and responsibilities as an employee in Finland (and those of your employer), consider enrolling in our “Working in Finland” video course. This is particularly useful if you have any management or leadership responsibilities at your workplace in Finland. 

This is your ultimate guide to rules governing Finnish employment relationships. Get it from our online store!

The mission of Finnwards is to help internationals thrive in their life abroad. We provide coaching, consulting, and training services that help them do just that. Check out our Services for Businesses and Organizations or our Expat Inspiration Catalog for more information! While we serve internationals and their employers all over the world, our specialty is Finland. With our help, internationals can build a uniquely Finnish life for themselves and their family. In addition to the coaching, consulting and training services, we also offer a wide selection of self-guided online courses about Finland. Contact us and let us help you or your employees succeed in their professional and private lives abroad and in Finland.

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