Skip to content

Employment contract and terms of employment

When you start a new job in Finland, you usually sign a written contract of employment with the employer. On this page, we describe the content of employment contracts, collective agreements and other terms of employment.

An employment contract is created when an employee and employer agree on the work to be done. The employment contract binds both parties. Read the employment contract carefully before signing it. You can ask to see the employment contract in advance. Ask your employer if you do not understand a point. When you sign the employment contract, you accept its terms.

An employment contract cannot include terms of employment that are illegal in Finland.

Link redirects to another websiteOccupational Safety and Health Administration

Making a contract of employment

Contents of an contract of employment

A contract of employment is made in two identical copies, one for the employee and the other for the employer. At least the following matters are generally specified in a contract of employment:

Employee and employer

Both the employer and employee sign the employment contract.

Start date of work

Contract validity: indefinite or fixed-term

Employment contracts are usually valid indefinitely. This means that work will continue until the employee resigns or the employer dismisses the employee.

Employment contracts can be made for a fixed term if there are justifiable grounds for it. An employment contract may be fixed term, for example, for reasons of

  • temporary post (sijaisuus),
  • work experience placement,
  • project work, or
  • peak demand/season.

Probationary period (koeaika) and its duration

A probationary period can be agreed upon at the beginning of employment. Both the employer and employee can terminate the employment relationship during the probationary period. However, the employer must have some reason for cancelling the employment contract during the probationary period.

Place of work

Work tasks

Wage and its method of payment

Your wage or salary is determined according to the collective agreement. If there is no collective agreement in the sector, employees are entitled to a reasonable wage. An employer cannot pay less wages than what is stipulated in the collective agreement. Your wage or salary may contain various bonuses. Typical bonuses in Finland include experience bonus, overtime pay and extra compensation for shift work. Read more on the page Wages and working hours.

Working hours

The contract must specify regular working hours. The working hours must comply with the Working Hours Act and the collective agreement.

Annual holidays and holiday bonus

You are entitled to the same wage for the holiday period as you get when working. Annual holidays are paid leisure time. In some cases, holiday pay, i.e. a holiday bonus, is also paid. Read more on the InfoFinland page Holidays and leaves.

Period of notice (irtisanomisaika)

A contract of employment that is valid indefinitely ends if terminated by either the employee or employer. The employee does not stop working immediately but only after the period of notice.

If an employer dismisses an employee, the employer must give the reason for it. The Employment Contracts Act specifies acceptable reasons for dismissal. Read more on the InfoFinland page End of employment.

The applicable collective agreement (työehtosopimus)

Insurance institution

Information on the insurance institution with which the employer has arranged your pension cover or insured you for occupational accidents and disease.

Link redirects to another websiteOccupational Safety and Health Administration

Employment contract

Collective agreement

In Finland, the abbreviation TES is often used to refer to the collective agreement (työehtosopimus). Please note that a collective agreement is not the same thing as an employment contract. Almost all sectors have their own collective agreements.

Collective agreements lay down the terms and conditions of employment that must be observed in a particular sector. They cover salary or wages, working hours and holidays. The agreement was concluded by the employers’ and employees’ unions.  

When the employer is a municipality or state, the collective agreement on civil servants’ salaries (VES) or the general municipal collective agreement (KVTES) is observed.

If a collective agreement is in use in the sector, it must be mentioned in the employment contract. Familiarise yourself with the agreement in your own sector. You can find it at your workplace, trade union or online for example at Finlex. Sometimes the terms of employment have been agreed at the workplace between the employer and shop stewards.

Link redirects to another websiteThe Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK

Information on collective agreements

Posted worker

The terms and agreements that define working life and pay in Finland also apply to you if you are a posted worker. In other words, you must follow the Finnish working hours and wage regulations even if they are different from those in your country of origin. You can check in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (Työsuojeluhallinto) online service or the guide below what kind of working conditions and terms of employment must be observed in Finland.