Employees’ rights and obligations in Finland

Työntekijän oikeudet ja velvollisuudet Suomessa
In this article you will find information on the rights and obligations of employees in Finland. You can also find out who to contact if you have problems.

Employment contract

When you get a job, you always conclude an employment contract. It is recommended that this is in writing.

The employment contract lists all the things relevant to your particular employment: the working hours, the length of the employment relationship, the pay, any pay supplements, the payday etc. The employment contract may also specify a trial period and the period of notice.

Under the Employment Contracts Act, an employment contract can be made in writing, but also orally or electronically. If there is no written employment contract or the written contract does not specify the required items, the employer must automatically provide the employee with a written clarification of the employment conditions by the end of the first pay period.

Certificate of employment

When your employment ends, you can request a certificate of employment from your employer. The certificate must specify the length of the employment relationship and the nature of the work duties and, on request, the reason for the termination of the employment relationship and an assessment of your working skills and behaviour.

Employee’s rights and obligations

Employees are entitled to

  • the pay and other working conditions specified in the collective agreement
  • the protection afforded by legislation and agreements, such as non-discriminatory treatment
  • organise in a trade union 
  • a healthy and safe working environment
  • statutory family leave

Employees are obliged to

  • perform their work carefully
  • observe instructions issued by the employer
  • avoid activity that competes with the employer
  • not to divulge trade or professional secrets
  • be mindful of the employer’s interests in what they do

More information on employees’ rights and obligations can be found e.g. on Infopankki, a site for people moving to Finland

Help in problem situations

If you run into problems with your employer, you can ask the shop steward representing the trade union at your workplace, the occupational safety representative in companies with over 10 employees or the occupational safety manager appointed by the employer. You can read more on the webpage of the Regional State Administrative Agency.

If you are subject to discrimination at your workplace, you can contact the Regional State Administrative Agency’s labour inspectorate.

More information also from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or the Centre for Occupational Safety.

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Info Norden is the information service of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Here you can find info and tips if you wish to move, work, study, seek support or start a business in the Nordic region.