Finland is a Nordic country known for its strong social welfare system, high quality of life, and skilled workforce. As an employer in Finland, it is crucial to understand and comply with Finnish labor laws, regulations, and cultural norms. Here is some general information to help guide you:
- Labor laws and regulations: Finnish labor laws govern employment relationships, including working hours, annual leave, sick leave, maternity and paternity leave, and termination of employment. The main sources of Finnish labor law are the Employment Contracts Act, the Working Hours Act, and the Annual Holidays Act. Collective agreements, which are negotiated between trade unions and employers or employer organizations, can also regulate working conditions in specific industries.
- Working hours: The regular working hours in Finland are generally 40 hours per week, with eight hours per day from Monday to Friday. Overtime work is allowed, but it must be compensated with increased pay or time off.
- Annual leave: Employees in Finland are entitled to a minimum of 24 working days of annual leave per year, increasing to 30 working days after one year of employment. The leave accrues at a rate of two days per month of employment.
- Sick leave: Employees are entitled to sick leave in Finland. Generally, the employer pays full salary for the first nine days of sick leave, after which the employee receives sickness allowance from the Finnish Social Insurance Institution (Kela).
- Maternity, paternity, and parental leave: Finland has generous provisions for parental leave. Mothers are entitled to 105 working days of maternity leave, while fathers are entitled to 54 working days of paternity leave. After the maternity and paternity leaves, parents can share an additional 158 working days of parental leave.
- Employment contracts: Employment contracts can be either written or verbal, but it is advisable to have a written contract to avoid misunderstandings. The contract should include details such as job title, duties, salary, working hours, probation period, and termination conditions.
- Minimum wage: Finland does not have a statutory minimum wage, but most industries have collective agreements that determine minimum wage rates. Employers must comply with the applicable collective agreement for their industry.
- Social security and pensions: Employers in Finland must contribute to the social security system, which includes payments for pension, unemployment insurance, and accident and sickness insurance. The employee’s share of these contributions is usually withheld from their salary.
- Workplace safety: Employers must comply with occupational safety and health regulations and ensure a safe working environment. The Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Enforcement Act govern workplace safety in Finland.
- Non-discrimination: Finnish law prohibits discrimination based on factors such as gender, age, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. Employers must treat all employees fairly and promote equal opportunities in the workplace.
- Termination of employment: Employers must follow specific procedures when terminating an employment contract, including providing a valid reason and, in some cases, a notice period. Severance pay may also be required depending on the circumstances.
- Language: While Finnish is the official language, many Finns speak fluent English, and it is common for companies to operate in both Finnish and English.
It is essential to familiarize yourself with Finnish labor laws, regulations, and cultural norms to ensure a successful and compliant business operation in Finland.