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 trade 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 Mondays at 2–5 pm and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 9–11 am and 12 noon–3 pm.
Tel. 0800 414 004
You can also call the Nationwide Telephone Service of the occupational safety and health authorities, which provides services in Finnish, Swedish and English.
Tel. 0295 016 62
Work Help Finland mobile app
You can download the Work Help Finland app to your phone. It is intended for foreign workers coming to Finland and residing in Finland.
The app provides information about the rights and obligations of workers in Finland. If you have problems at the workplace or with your employer, you can also find help through the app.
RikosuhripäivystysVideo about employee rights in FinlandLink redirects to another website
Ministry of the InteriorDownload Work help FinlandLink redirects to another website
Occupational safety and health administrationContact information of occupational safety and health authoritiesLink redirects to another website
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. Please note that a collective agreement is not the same thing as an employment contract.
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.
According to the Annual Holidays Act, an employee is entitled to annual holidays or holiday compensation in Finland. Read more about your right to annual holidays and holiday pay on the InfoFinland page Annual holidays.
If you want, you can join a trade union in your own field. In Finland, it is common for employees to belong to a trade union. The trade union advises employees if they have problems with their employer.
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 occupational safety and health. 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.
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. If your employer suggests working without paying taxes, do not agree. It is illegal in Finland and can lead to a penalty. 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.
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
Right to work in Finland
If you work in Finland, you must have the right to work in Finland. If you are not a Finnish citizen, you must prove to your employer that you have the right to work. Show your employer either your passport, official travel document or residence permit card. You have the right to keep your passport and residence permit to yourself. Your employer only has the right to see them. The employer usually takes a copy of the grounds for your right to work because, according to law, it must be kept at the workplace.
If you have a residence permit, you can see your right to work on your residence permit card. If you do not have a residence permit or are not sure if you have the right to work, you can ask the Finnish Immigration Service about it by e-mail. Read the instructions on the Finnish Immigration Service website.
If your residence permit expires and you have not applied for an extension, your right to work will expire. Therefore, it is recommended to apply for an extension before your previous residence permit expires. Provide your employer with a copy of the certificate of a pending application and give a copy of the new residence permit to your employer as soon as you receive it.
If you are a citizen of an EU or EEA country, you have the right to work in Finland without restrictions. If you are staying in Finland for more than three months, you must register your right of residence at the Finnish Immigration Service (Maahanmuuttovirasto).