Dismissal and termination of employment relationship as an employer

You can only dismiss your permanent employee for a justified reason. Dismissal of an employee in a fixed-term employment relationship is only possible if it has been agreed upon separately. If your employee has violated their obligations very seriously, you can terminate the employment relationship. After the dismissal, you also have obligations regarding the offer of work and the reinstatement of the employee.

Dismissal of a permanent employee

You must have a justified reason for dismissing an employee with a permanent work contract. Also remember that the dismissed employee's employment relationship does not end immediately, but after the period of notice. The length of your employee's employment relationship affects the duration of the period of notice. You must consult the employee before ending the employment relationship.

However, your employee may resign from a permanent employment relationship without a reason. They are still obliged to observe the period of notice.

You may have a reason for dismissal if

  • your employee violates the obligations of the employment relationship,
  • your employee's prerequisites for carrying out work change significantly, and they can no longer do their work, or
  • the tasks you offer will be permanently reduced, and you are not able to offer another job to which your employee could be transferred or trained.

Read carefully the accepted and prohibited grounds for dismissal on the website of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Finland.

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Termination of fixed-term employment

A fixed-term employment relationship ends at a time agreed in advance in the employment contract or when your employee has completed the work agreed in the employment contract. It is only possible for you to dismiss your fixed-term employee in the middle of the employment relationship if you have separately agreed upon it either in the employment contract or during the employment relationship.

If you enter into a fixed-term employment contract with your employee for more than five years, the practices of terminating a permanent employment relationship apply to the employment relationship.

Termination of employment relationship

In the case of termination of an employment relationship, the employment relationship is cancelled immediately without a period of notice. As an employer, you can only terminate an employment relationship if your employee has violated their obligations very seriously. Your employee may also cancel the employment relationship if you have seriously violated your obligations as an employer.

During the trial period, both you as an employer and your employee can terminate the employment relationship without a specific reason.

You can find detailed instructions on terminating an employment contract and its possible reasons on the website of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Finland.

Obligation to offer work and provide training

When you dismiss your employee, you have an obligation to offer them employment, primarily employment corresponding to their current duties. In the absence of such work, the employee is to be offered other work corresponding to their training, professional skills, or experience.

You must provide the employee with the training required for new tasks given that organising and participating in it are reasonable for both you and the employee.

If you also control human resources matters in another organisation, you must determine whether the obligation to offer work or training can be fulfilled in these other organisations. A person who has been dismissed is not required to be a job seeker for this obligation, and their status must not be checked from the TE Services. The fulfilment of this obligation does not eliminate any subsequent readmission obligation.  

Please remember that when you need more employees for tasks that are suitable for part-time employees, you must first offer work to your part-time employees.

Re-employment obligation

If you employ new personnel within four months of termination of the employment relationships of persons dismissed for production-related and financial reasons, you have the obligation to first offer the work to the employees dismissed from the same or similar work.

If the employment relationship has lasted for 12 years, the rehiring period is six months. For municipal office holders, the duration of the re-employment obligation is nine months. The duration of the re-employment obligation for civil servants is 12 months and for employees nine months. Longer re-employment periods may also be agreed upon in collective agreements or change negotiations. The re-employment obligation does not apply to lay-offs.

If your organisation has a vacancy that would be suitable for an employee subject to the re-employment obligation, you can check by secure email whether the employee is a job seeker in the TE Services, unless otherwise agreed during the change negotiations. The TE Office or the local government pilot will record the query in its information system. If the person is a job seeker at the time of the check, you must offer them employment. You are responsible for keeping the employee's contact information, offering employment, and for ensuring that it is a genuine need for labour.

The obligations described above also apply to the employer who has dismissed employees as a result of the restructuring procedure.

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