Living in Finland


Työntekijän oikeudet ja velvollisuudet
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Employee’s rights and obligations

In Finland an employee has the right to:

  • remuneration in accordance with the collective agreement and other minimum provisions
  • the protection provided by acts and contracts
  • join a union
  • a healthy and safe working environment

An employee has the obligation to:

  • perform their work carefully
  • observe the agreed-upon working hours
  • follow the instructions of the management
  • decline from activities which compete with those of the employer
  • keep business and trade secrets
  • take into account the employer’s interests

Employee rights advice for immigrants

If you have questions or problems with your employment, you can contact the employee rights advisory service for immigrants. The service is provided by the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade unions SAK. You can use the service even if you are not a trade union member. In the service, a lawyer answers questions about things like employment contracts, wages or working hours. You can get advice for free in Finnish or English.

The service is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 9–11 am and 12 noon–3 pm.

Tel. 0800 414 004
E-mail: workinfinland(at)

You can also call the national counselling service of occupational safety and health authorities:

tel. 0295 016 620
Mon–Fri 9 am–3 pm

Employee rights advice for immigrantsFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiSAK :
Working in FinlandFinnish | Swedish | English | Russian | Estonian | French | Somali | Spanish | Chinese | Arabic

linkkiFinnish Institute of Occupational Health:
Guide 'Working in Finland'Finnish | Swedish | English | Russian | Estonian | French | Somali | Chinese | Arabic | Kurdish | German | Thai | Vietnamese

linkkiVictim Support Finland:
Video about employee rights in FinlandEnglish | Chinese | Arabic | Thai | Hindi

Acts and contracts secure employees’ rights

Labour legislation and collective agreements regulate employees’ rights and obligations. Employees’ and employers’ associations negotiate with each other on field-specific collective agreements. The legislation and collective agreements determine, for example, minimum wages, working hours, holidays, sick pay and the terms of dismissal.

Read more on the InfoFinland web pages Agreeing on the terms of employment and Content of the employment contract.

linkkiMinistry of Economic Affairs and Employment:
Labour legislation brochuresFinnish | Swedish | English


Every employee has a right to equality and non-discrimination in applying for a job and at the workplace. Read more on the InfoFinland web page Equality and equal opportunities in working life.

Contract of employment

A contract of employment is created when an employee and employer agree on the work the employee will perform and on the remuneration to be paid for it and other benefits and conditions. The conditions of a contract of employment are determined in accordance with the labour legislation and collective agreement. The contract of employment binds both parties.

Read more about contracts of employment on the InfoFinland web pages Agreeing on the terms of employment and Content of the employment contract.

Trade unions

Unionisation is common in Finland and persons who serve actively in trade unions are not persecuted in this country. You can join a trade union in your own field. A trade union strives to secure the interests of its members in working life.

Read more on the InfoFinland web page Trade unions.

Health and safety at work

It is the duty of an employer to take care of their employees’ safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration monitors that industrial safety instructions are observed at workplaces in accordance with the law. Read more on the InfoFinland web page Health and safety at work.

Unemployment benefit

When a person who lives in Finland permanently becomes unemployed they are entitled to unemployment benefit. Read more on the InfoFinland web page Unemployment benefit.


An immigrant who has lived in Finland for a sufficiently long time can receive pension due to old age or incapacity for work. Read more on the InfoFinland web page Pension.


When you work in Finland you are required to pay tax. Read more on the InfoFinland web page Taxation.

Occupational health care

Every employer is obliged to organise preventive occupational health care for their employees. Read more on the InfoFinland web page Occupational health care.

Family leave

When a child is born to a family the mother or father can, by law, stay at home to look after the child. Read more on the InfoFinland web page Family leave.

Testimonial of service

When an employee’s contract of employment expires they are entitled to a written testimonial of service from their employer. Read more on the InfoFinland web page Testimonial of service.

Video about the rights of employees