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Finland

Staff

Updated 07/2012

Legal requirements

The Ministry of Employment and the Economy is responsible for preparing and developing legislation.

Employment conditions

Employers have certain legal obligations, including:

  • registering as an employer;
  • submitting a founding notification;
  • setting up employee pensions;
  • providing accident insurance;
  • providing occupational healthcare for employees;
  • passing on taxes deductible at the source and social security contributions to the tax authorities.

Legislation guarantees social security to people living in Finland, i.e. healthcare and household maintenance, if they have an accident at work, get sick, give birth, lose their job or retire.

Employment contracts

According to the Contracts of Employment Act, employers must inform their employees of the basic terms and conditions of their job, unless this information is covered by written employment contracts. A contract of employment may be made orally, but in practice a written agreement is better, so that what was agreed upon can be proven later on.

Employment contracts and employment relationships must comply with collective labour agreements between interest groups. They are usually agreed upon jointly.

An employment contract can be for either an indefinite or set period of time. If it is for a set period, it needs to be justified with a valid reason.

An employment contract can be concluded in writing, orally or electronically.

A employment contract should contain the following:

  • names, addresses, employer's domicile or business location, employee's ID code, and the employer's business ID code;
  • start date of the employment relationship;
  • duration of a set-term contract of employment: the employer needs to have a valid reason for offering a set-term contract of employment;
  • length of trial period;
  • period of notice for an indefinite period contract;
  • salary type, amount and payment period;
  • collective labour agreement applied to the employer-employee relationship.

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.

Employing foreigners

In Finland, the right to gainful employment is determined according to nationality. Foreign workers may also work as seconded workers. The same working conditions apply to all workers in Finland.

There are minimum social rules to follow, especially about non-discrimination, gender equality and health and safety.

Administrative procedures

Employment conditions

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

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

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

Social security contributions

The social insurance institution Kela is responsible for general social security matters.

A tax card may also be amended online, on the Tax Administration website.

  • Employment and Economic Development Centres (TE Centres) offer a wide range of services to individual and corporate customers.

Wage contribution returns

From the beginning of 2010 onwards, the VAT, employer contributions and other taxes paid to tax accounts at employer's own initiative are declared by the means of a periodic tax return form in accordance with the declared period of time either monthly, quarterly or annually. The first periodic tax return is completed for taxes due in January 2010.

The electronic tax account service enables completing of periodic tax returns and additional returns, checking the balance and transactions on the tax account as well as browsing archived account statements and notifications.

Work permits for foreign workers

The permits, statements or registration required by a foreigner moving to Finland to start a business. His or her actions will depend on whether he or she is coming from another Nordic country, an EU or comparable country or from outside the EU.

Relevant permits and statements are registration of the right of residence, the employee's or trader's residence permit and registration in the population register. Foreigners may also, in some cases, require a licence from the National Board of Patents and Registration to act as a partner or company board member.

Keeping the accounts

All companies must keep records of their accounts.

Enterprise Finland has information about finances and accounting.

Termination

A fixed-term contract of employment will terminate upon the agreed deadline or when the work is finished, without any separate notice or notice period. A permanent contract may be terminated by notice, in accordance with the notice deadlines in the Contracts of Employment Act, collective labour agreement or contract of employment.

Resources

The industrial safety unit of the Regional State Administrative Agency is liable for the task previously carried out by industrial safety districts.

EnterpriseFinland's website provides general information on the obligations of employers.

Employment and Economic Development Centre serves both employers and jobseekers.

The industrial safety districts website provides additional information about working in Finland as a foreigner. The tasks of the industrial safety districts have been transferred to regional state administrative agencies.

Association of Finnish Accounting Firms website has compiled an information pack about company accounts.

EURES, the European job portal, offers employers information and support on recruiting across the EU. As well as assisting jobseekers, it helps entrepreneurs find workers from across the EU. In border regions, EURES provides information on cross-border commuting and helps workers and employers with problems that may arise.

Help & advice

Help & advice

The Central Chamber of Commerce, local Chambers of Commerce and Centres for Economic Development, Employment and the Environment provide information about employment issues, to both sides.

SOLVIT helps businesses deal with problems that arise when national authorities wrongly apply EU market rules.

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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