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Finland

Staff welfare

Updated 12/2012

Legal requirements

Social rules

Non-discrimination, equal treatment and gender equality

The Ministry of Employment and the Economy aims at ensuring equality and diversity within the work environment. The aim of the Non-Discrimination Act is to ensure and promote equality in the various sectors of society. 

A responsible company maintains their image and opportunities to recruit competent employees. Good-quality working conditions form a part of socially responsible procedures. Equal treatment ensures that everyone has the same opportunities to work and make a career. Discrimination means wanton use of resources and is forbidden by law.

Additionally, in contracts of employment and employment relationships, employers must at least comply with the national rules of the collective labour agreement and the terms of the employment relationship and working conditions that are considered compulsory in the relevant sector.

According to the Contracts of Employment Act, employers must provide employees with information about the main conditions of work, if they do not appear in the written contract of employment.

All employers should provide pension and accident insurance for their employees. Employers should also ensure that they arrange for  occupational health service .

Employers account for withheld tax and social security payments to the tax authorities.

Health and safety at work

Employers must, at their own expense, arrange an occupational health service in order to prevent and lessen health conditions and problems caused by work and working conditions, and to protect and promote employee health, safety and ability to work. Employers are obliged to insure their employees against industrial accidents.

The Occupational Health Care Act regulates this area, and it is monitored and directed by the industrial safety rules. The industrial safety units of the Regional State Administrative Agency are liable for creating conditions for safe, healthy working conditions that promote the ability to work. The goal is for workplaces to keep working conditions in order, of their own volition.

Labour law

Contracts of Employment Act

The terms and conditions of employment must be set up in accordance with collective labour agreements.

Under the Contracts of Employment Act, you must inform employees of the basic terms and conditions applicable to their job.

It is recommended that a contract of employment be concluded in writing.

Labour relations

There is no minimum wage in Finland, but employers must comply with the collective labour agreements in force, which define low wages.

In contracts of employment and employment relationships, employers must at least comply with the provisions of the national collective labour agreement (generally binding collective labour agreement) that is considered representative of the relevant sector, and especially those terms and working conditions of the employment relationship that relate to work done by the employee or comparable work.

There is more information about annual leave, family leave and other employment matters on the industrial safety website, among other things.

Labour protection

Industrial safety refers to operations maintaining and promoting safety and healthiness of the work environment and the working conditions, as well as employees' physical and psychological capacity for work and prevention of work accidents.

Employers must arrange mandatory insurance for their employees, as well as  the paying of the insurance payments. The following are mandatory insurance payments:

  • Employee pension insurance payment
  • Accident insurance payment
  • Group life insurance payment
  • Unemployment insurance payment
  • Social security contribution

Employers must arrange employees' occupational health care.

Mandatory social rules complete the requirements related to managing staff.

Businesses are free to go beyond the minimum social legal requirements at their own initiative.

Administrative procedures

Social insurance

At the electronic service point for the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, Kela, employers may forward notifications and applications. For example, it is possible to

  • report information concerning the time and the wages paid to employees during their absence due to sickness leave, rehabilitation, family leave, rehabilitation or looking after a sick child at home;
  • forward employer's contacts for paying the daily allowance and making the decision and forward employees' contacts for calculating the daily allowance;
  • apply for a sickness allowance or partial sickness allowance for their employees for paid sickness leave;
  • apply for maternity, paternity and parenting allowances for employees' paid family leave, or remuneration for annual leave expenses accrued during a parenting leave daily allowance period;
  • view forwarded applications and declarations and decisions made by KELA as well as daily allowances paid to the employer.

In Finland, employers have a legal obligation to arrange a retirement plan for their employees. Retirement plan insurance also relates to foreign businesses operating in Finland.

Resources

There is information about arranging occupational health services , employer's mandatory payments and industrial safety on the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (KELA) website.

Pension companies and funds can be found at the employers' service point.

Industrial safety related liabilities of the Regional State Administrative Agency lay down the necessary conditions for safe working environments. The industrial safety website offers online information on industrial safety and other social standards.

EnterpriseFinland's Employer section provides information, for example, about contracts of employment, employer's liabilities and obligations.

Help & advice

Help & advice

The Finnish Centre for Pensions (ETK) provides assistance to employers and employees regarding occupational pension insurance. The Finnish Centre for Pensions is a statutory cooperation body, expert and provider of general services for the development and implementation of retirement plans.

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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