In Finland, an employee’s rights are determined according to labour legislation and collective agreements (työehtosopimus). These specify, for example, minimum wages, working hours, holidays, sick pay and the conditions of terminating a contract of employment.
Employers’ associations and employees’ associations work together to agree on the working conditions in a certain field. This leads to the creation of collective agreements (TES). In the public sector (with the state or a municipality as an employer) a collective bargaining contract on civil servant salaries (VES) or a general municipal collective bargaining contract (KVTES) is agreed upon.
The agreed upon benefits in a collective agreement are always minimum benefits. They cannot be less in the contract of employment. For example, remuneration cannot be smaller than that which has been agreed upon in the collective agreement. However, an employer and employee can agree on better conditions in the contract of employment than those stipulated in the collective agreement.
Collective agreements are concluded for a fixed period of time, usually for a year or two or even longer. A collective agreement and a collective bargaining contract on civil servant salaries are binding to the employees’ and employers’ associations and their members. A collective agreement can also be generally binding. In such a case, also employers who are not members of an employers’ association have to comply with the agreement and apply it to their employees.
Job advertisements and contracts of employment may read: “palkkaus TES:in mukainen” (“remuneration according to collective agreement”). It makes sense to find out the size of remuneration within your own field in Finland. It is important to know the collective agreement because in Finland there is no act on minimum wage, for example; instead, minimum wages are always determined according to the collective agreement.
linkkiMinistry of Economic Affairs and Employment:
Labour legislationFinnish | Swedish | English
Contract of employment
An employer usually makes a written contract of employment with a new employee. The contract of employment states the employee’s tasks and remuneration and other benefits and conditions related to work. This contract can also be verbal. If no written contract of employment has been made, the employer shall, without a specific request, provide a written account of the central conditions of work.
It is advisable to make a written contract of employment. When matters have been written down, both employee and employer can check the contract for what has been jointly agreed upon. This will help in cases of conflict at work.
Read more about making a contract of employment on the Infopankki web page Contents of a contract of employment.
linkkiOccupational Safety and Health Administration:
Making a contract of employmentFinnish | Swedish | English
Written agreement on the central conditions of work
An employer shall give an employee a written account of the central conditions of work in employment contracts that are valid for the present and in employment contracts whose duration is longer than a month.
The written account must provide at least
the employer’s and employee’s place of residence or place of business
the work commencement time
the duration of a fixed-term work contract and the reason for its fixed-term nature
place of work
the collective agreement applicable to the work
the basis for remuneration and other compensation and the pay period
regular working hours
the way annual holiday is determined
period of notice or the basis for its determination
If an employer does not deliver an account of the central conditions for work to the employee, they may be ordered to pay a fine.