At the beginning of an employment relationship

If you are about enter into an employment relationship, this page contains useful information for you. Use the links below to go directly to the subject that is of interest to you.

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Entering into an employment contract

The format of the employment contract is free, and it can be oral, written or electronic. However, it is recommended that you always draw up a written contract.

An employment contract is valid until further notice or for a fixed term. The employer may only conclude an employment contract for a fixed term for a justified reason.

If you have been an unemployed jobseeker for an uninterrupted period of 12 months, no special reasoning is needed for entering into a fixed-term employment contract.

  • In this case the fixed-term contract can be for no longer than a period of one year.
  • The contract can be renewed at most twice within a year from the time at which the first contract began.
  • However the total length of these contracts cannot exceed one year.

Key terms of employment

The employer must give the key terms of employment to the employee in writing if they are not specified in a written employment contract.

This information should be provided within the first pay period, or at the latest within a month of the start date of the employment relationship.

The information must be provided in employment relationships that are valid until further notice or continue for more than a month.

This information must at least contain

  • the employer's and the employee's municipality of residence or place of business
  • the start date of the work
  • the duration, or estimated duration, of a fixed-term employment contract and justifications for the fixed term of the contract
  • trial period
  • the location where the work is carried out or the principles on which the employee works on different sites
  • the employee's main duties
  • the collective agreement to be applied to the work, if there is a generally binding collective agreement in the relevant sector
  • the principles of determining pay and other compensation and the pay period
  • regular working hours
  • grounds of determining annual holidays
  • period of notice or the principle on which the period of notice is determined.

In case of work carried out abroad whose duration is at least one month, the information must also specify the duration of the work, the currency in which the salary will be paid, monetary compensation and fringe benefits paid abroad and the terms of repatriating the employee.

Minimum wages

There is no specific act on minimum wages in Finland. Neither are the wages to be paid to employees laid down in the Employment Contracts Act, and the pay is thus usually determined on the basis of the collective agreements in each sector.

Trial period

When you are entering into an employment contract, you can agree with the employer that you begin with a trial period. The maximum duration of a trial period may be six months.

  • The trial period for a fixed-term employment contract can be no longer than half of the total duration of the contract and at most 6 months.
  • If the employee has been on disability leave or family leave during their trial period, the employer has the right to extend the employee's trial period by on month for every 30 calendar day period of disability leave or family leave. The employer must notify the employee of an extension to their trial period prior to the trial period coming to an end.

During the trial period, the employment contract may be terminated by either party. However, the prohibition of terminating an employment contract for reasons that are discriminatory or inappropriate also applies during the trial period.

In exceptional circumstances a trial period can also be included in an employment contract at a later date in case there is a substantial change in the tasks to be performed.

Trial period (

Working with children

If the work involves close interaction with children, a background check must be carried out on the person hired for the job following the statutory procedure.

Working with children (

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