Living in Finland

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Problems in working life

Where can I get help for problems in working life?

Discuss with your supervisor first. If that does not help, contact the shop steward of the workplace. If there is no shop steward at the workplace and you are a member of a trade union, contact your trade union.

The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) provides free employment counselling. You can use the service even if you are not a trade union member. Lawyers answer your questions in Finnish and English. Counselling is available by both telephone and e-mail:

tel. 0800 414 004, Tue and Wed at 9–11 am and 12 noon–3 pm
workinfinland(at)sak.fi

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

tel. 0295 016 620
Mon–Fri 9 am–3 pm

linkkiOccupational Safety and Health Administration:
Contact information of occupational safety and health authoritiesFinnish | Swedish | English

My employment ends soon. How does it affect my residence permit?

The situation depends on what kind of residence permit you have.

If your residence permit concerns only a certain employer, apply for a new residence permit for an employee. You must have a new workplace in order to apply for a new residence permit for an employee. You can also apply for a residence permit on some other grounds. Read more about the grounds for a residence permit in the InfoFinland section Non-EU citizens.

If your employment ends before the end of the residence permit, notify the Finnish Immigration Service in writing. Your employee can also submit the notification.

If your residence permit has been granted for a certain professional field, you may change workplaces within the field.

Information on residence permits for employees and entrepreneurs can be found on the pages Work in Finland and Moving to Finland as an entrepreneur. Read more about looking for work in Finland on the page Where to find work? You can find more information on applying for unemployment benefit on the page Unemployment benefit.

linkkiFinnish Immigration Service:
Information on residence permitsFinnish | Swedish | English

I have been underpaid. What should I do?

Always check your payslip to ensure that you have received the right amount of salary.

If you have received too little, ask the employer for a correction of salary payment. If the employer does not pay the correct amount, ask for advice at occupational safety and health at the Regional State Administrative Agencies or at your own trade union.

If you cannot agree on salary payment with your employer, the matter must be resolved at court. However, that is the final option.

linkkiOccupational Safety and Health Administration:
Information on the payment of wagesFinnish | Swedish | English

My employer only wants to pay my salary in cash. Is that allowed?

Your employer should pay your salary to your bank account. The salary may only be paid in cash when there are no other options available. This can be done, for example, if you do not have a bank account.

If your salary is paid in cash, you must give your employer a signed certificate of salary payment. This way, it can be proven that that the salary has really been paid to you.

My fixed-term employment ended but I was not paid my last salary. What should I do?

Ask the employer for the reason for the delay in payment. Demand that the employer pay your salary. Present the demand in writing.

If you are a trade union member, you can ask for help at your union. If you are not a trade union member, contact the occupational safety and health authorities, for example.

I ended my job at my previous workplace but did not receive a testimonial of service. How do I get the testimonial of service?

The employer does not have to give you a testimonial of service on its own initiative. If you want a testimonial of service, ask for it. The testimonial must be submitted to you as soon as possible.

If you have asked for a testimonial of service but have not received it, contact the occupational safety and health authorities. Read more on the InfoFinland web page Testimonial of service.

I feel that I am treated inappropriately at my workplace. What can I do?

All employees must be treated equally. According to the law, no one must be discriminated against because of these reasons, for example:

  • form of employment
  • age
  • gender
  • ethnic background
  • health
  • religious beliefs
  • sexual orientation

Read more on the InfoFinland page Discrimination and racism.

In addition to discrimination, other inappropriate treatment may also occur at workplaces, such as bullying or sexual harassment.

Talk to your supervisor first. If he or she cannot help you, contact the occupational safety officer or shop steward at your workplace. If the issue cannot be resolved at the workplace, contact the occupational safety and health authorities or your trade union.

If your supervisor treats you inappropriately, report it to the occupational safety and health authorities. You can submit the report using your name or anonymously.

I am forced to work with no salary. My employer also threatens me with violence. Where can I get help?

You have the right to get help and protection. According to Finnish law, employees must be treated well and they must be paid salary. Human trafficking is a crime in Finland. Read more on the InfoFinland page Human trafficking and forced labour. More information on the rights of employees in Finland is available on the InfoFinland page Employee’s rights and obligations.

linkkiSuomen kansallinen ihmiskaupan uhrien auttamisjärjestelmä:
Help for victims of human traffickingFinnish | Swedish | English | Russian | Estonian | French | Somali | Chinese | Persian | Arabic | Kurdish | Albanian | Thai | Vietnamese | Polish | Romanian | Bulgarian