I need support for being an employer

As an employer, you can sometimes need help for different situations you face. You can learn where you can get services, monetary support, or advice at Job Market Finland.

As an employer, you have a wide range of statutory obligations towards both your employees and the authorities.

Paying your employees is not the only obligation that applies to you as an employer. You must also provide occupational health care, take care of occupational safety and health, take out an insurance for your employees, and draw up an equality plan. To ensure that working is as safe as possible, observe the working environment, working spaces and working methods. Remember to also take care of salary-based and other notifications to be sent to different authorities. If there is a valid collective agreement for your sector, the terms of employment must comply with it.

Occupational health care improves the work ability of your employees

As an employer, the Occupational Health Care Act obliges you to arrange occupational health care for your personnel when there is at least one employee. All your employees have the right to occupational health care regardless of their working hours or the length of their employment relationships. The objective of occupational health care is to promote the healthy and safe working conditions of your employees, to support their ability to work throughout their careers, and to prevent work-related illnesses and accidents.

Occupational safety ensures safe working conditions

The aim of occupational safety is to create a safe, healthy, and productive workplace. As an employer, you are obliged to draw up an occupational safety and health policy. Additionally, it is your responsibility to assess and mitigate potential hazards and failures.

Insurances provide cover for accidents

An insurance will provide you with security if your employee is injured in an accident at work, on the way to or from work, or becomes ill with an occupational disease. You can take out an insurance from your preferred non-life insurance company. Different insurance companies have different practices, so the exact prices of insurances vary. If you wish, you can tender for insurance companies. 

Compulsory insurance policies for employees include earnings-related pension insurance, occupational accident and disease insurance, group life insurance, unemployment insurance premiums, and health insurance premiums. If you wish, you can also take out voluntary insurances.

Impact of disability pensions of a person with partial work ability on the employment pension contributions of large employers

If you are a large employer, your employment pension contributions are determined by comparing your disability risk with the average risk. The calculation compares the amount of disability pensions previously granted to the average amount of employment pension contributions.

At the beginning of an employment relationship, a customer of TE Office or a municipal trial who is finding employment with partial work ability must request a certificate from TE Office or a municipal trial stating that they have been entered in TE Services' customer register as a jobseeker with partial work ability. After this, they must deliver the certificate to you. As an employer, you must keep the certificate.

If a person with partial work ability becomes incapable of work during the first five years of employment, you must submit the certificate of partial work capacity received from the employee to your employment pension insurance company, in which case the employee's disability pension will not affect your employment pension contributions category.

When your employee requests a certificate of their partial work ability at the beginning of the employment relationship and delivers it to you, you will avoid the effects that your employee's possible retirement on disability pension would have on your employment pension contributions. This may, for its part, encourage the hiring of an employee with partial work ability.

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Conflicts may arise in the work community. As an employer, you must identify the challenges in the work community and try to solve problems.

Your employees will certainly have different views on how to do their work. If different opinions cannot be discussed in the work community, disagreements may arise. Listen to and consider your employees' thoughts to help you improve your organization's performance. Try to make your work community a place where everyone can have a natural and constructive discussion.

Conflicts may also be based on discrimination or other inappropriateness. Create an atmosphere in the work community so that your employees can easily report bullying at the workplace, for example. As an employer, you must intervene in discrimination or bullying.

  • Encourage your employees to be open and tell you if they encounter discrimination, bullying, or violence at the workplace.
  • When resolving conflicts, listen to all parties.
  • Try to find a solution that is acceptable to everyone together with your work community.
  • Find out where the conflict arose. Consider what changes you can make to prevent the problem from recurring.
  • Together with your work community, establish an operating model for conflict situations, if one does not already exist.

The Centre for Occupational Safety offers comprehensive guidelines for dealing with conflicts in a work community. You should familiarise yourself with them so that you know how to act in difficult situations.

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As an employer, you are tasked with supporting your diverse work community and different employees.

There is diversity in every work community, so treat your staff equally. Make diversity an asset and a competitive advantage for your organisation. Fair and equal treatment affects your employees' motivation and well-being at work.

Remember equality in all situations. You must treat everyone equally when you recruit, provide orientation, distribute tasks, and promote or terminate employees.

Ensure that your employees treat each other with respect as well. If conflicts arise, intervene as early as possible. Discuss equality and possible discrimination with your work community. Make sure that your entire work community is aware of the prohibited grounds for discrimination under the Equality Act and the Non-Discrimination Act. In one-to-one development discussions, you have a good opportunity to find out if there are any equality-related problems in the work community.

If you have at least 30 employees, you must draw up an equality plan at least once every two years with representatives appointed by the staff. They must have a genuine opportunity to influence the content of the plan. Among other things, the equality plan should address recruitment, pay, performance assessment, influencing opportunities, and well-being at work. A plan alone is not enough; as an employer, you must ensure that the issues presented in the equality plan become part of the work community's practices. Also remember to update the plan and make sure that your employees familiarise themselves with it.

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If your employee’s illness or disability prevents them from working, you can make adjustments at the workplace. Adjustments refer to changes at work in which your employee’s job description is modified to better correspond to and support their expertise and work ability.

If you notice that your employee’s work ability has deteriorated or the amount of their sickness absence exceeds the sickness absence limit (more than 90 days), it is your responsibility to raise the matter with your employee. Your employee may also raise the matter if they cannot perform their current tasks in the same way as before.

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Early support discussions, occupational health discussions and assessment of work ability

You can have an early support conversation with your employee to find solutions to support their work ability. It is a good idea to continue discussing the situation in the occupational health discussions carried out as part of occupational health care.

The Occupational Health Discussion – Solutions for Work learning programme at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health has sections for employees, supervisors and occupational health care providers which provide support for conducting occupational health discussions. Please also refer to the Occupational Health Discussion Guide of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, which contains instructions for preparing for an occupational health discussion, information on livelihoods, and examples of work adaptation.

In addition to occupational health discussions, you can refer your employee for an assessment of work ability if they experience difficulties in their work performance that you cannot resolve by your own means at the workplace. This involves assessing their ability to perform their current tasks, the development of their functional and work abilities, and their capacity to function in working life. Your occupational health physician is often the best expert for assessing work ability, as they have information about the conditions in the workplace.

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Plan the adjustments

Agree with your employee on the necessary job changes and adjustments. You should also make a written agreement on them. In addition, agree when the situation will be re-evaluated together with the employee and occupational health care provider.

Working hours arrangements

When you agree on working time arrangements with your employee, they gain flexibility for their daily work.

You can agree on flexible working hours with your employees as long as the arrangement complies with the Working Hours Act and your sectoral collective agreement. Your employees are therefore able to decide, within certain limits, on the start and end times of their workday.

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Your employees can also work part-time. Possible alternatives include part-time pension, partial disability pension, discretionary part-time work and part-time parental leave as part of family leave.

Remote work is work that your employee does either at home or in another agreed location outside the actual workplace. Remote work can be either full-time or part-time. In the latter case, the employee works part of the week remotely and part of the week as normal at the workplace. Your employee can also work remotely on a one-off basis for a separately agreed period of time.

Changes to work tasks

Adjusting work tasks and work processes to fit an employee’s work ability gives them more capacity to work better at different stages of life.

You can reorganise your employees’ work tasks within the workplace or adjust their working hours and forms of work. You can together make either temporary or permanent changes to the division of labour. Seek to agree on the changes together with the entire work community.

You can also use tools such as work analysis to customise the work tasks.

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Job rotation, on the other hand, involves moving your employee to other activities or units at the workplace for a fixed period of time, after which they return to their previous assignment. The aim of job rotation may be to increase an employee’s well-being at work or to boost their motivation.

You can use the Ratko method to format and organise work. The method allows you to reorganise tasks in your work community. You’ll break down the work tasks of everyone involved. From the tasks that fall outside your employees’ core competence and ones they are used to performing alongside their own core tasks, you’ll create a completely new set of tasks. You can formulate this new set of tasks in a way that for example matches the work ability of an employee with partial work ability.

You can use the Ratko method for new hires and existing employees. You can also get expert help in implementing the method.

Changes in the working environment and accessibility

The target working environment is one which values equality and approachability and which feels comfortable for all your employees.

If an employee’s functional ability is impaired due to injury or illness, they can be supported with assistive devices, for example. Introducing the use of such devices is a personalised part of the rehabilitation or treatment process. Primary health care can provide your employee with the most common aids that support mobility, daily activities and sensory functions. A number of actors are involved in arranging the use of these aids, however, and each of these has different responsibilities.

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If your employee is unable to cope with certain activities due to injury or illness, they may need personal help. It is the responsibility of the municipality to arrange such assistance, but this process also takes into account the employee’s own opinions, wishes, life situation and particular need for assistance.

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If your employee needs interpretation due to hearing loss or a sight or speech disability and they live in Finland and have access to some method of communication, they can use Kela’s interpreter service for the disabled.

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You as an employer must develop working conditions and ways of working that promote equality. If you regularly employ at least 30 people, you must have a plan of measures for promoting equality. You must address the promotion measures and their effectiveness with your staff or their representatives.

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If a new or current employee of yours has a disability or illness and coping with work tasks requires, for example, purchasing tools or making changes at the workplace, you can apply for a subsidy for arranging working conditions from the TE Office or the local government pilot.

By showing your appreciation to your personnel, you can create a positive employer image.

One way you as an employer can tell your staff that their contribution is important is to remember them on different important days. For example, birthdays, Christmas or important milestones of service are good opportunities to commemorate an employee with a gift.

Offer gifts or benefits equally to all employees, regardless of their position or performance. A gift can be an object, an entry ticket, a service or an individualised gift card.

Make sure to find out how gifts and employee benefits should be considered in taxation.

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The local government pilots on employment began on 1 March 2021 in the areas participating in the pilots. The local government pilots will end on 31 December 2024.

During the pilots, you will continue to be offered employer and business services by the TE Office. However, you should consider the effects of the local government pilot on using the services, as some of the job seeking customers have been transferred as customers of the municipalities participating in the pilot and some remained at the TE Office. During the pilot, the responsibility for the services of the customers being transferred falls on their municipality of residence. Those customers who will not be transferred to the pilot will continue to be customers of the TE Office.

You can still receive employer and business services from the TE Office 

All employer and business services offered by TE Offices will still be available to you in the local government pilot areas. For example, you can notify the TE Office of a vacancy and receive help in the development of personnel, in change situations and in matters related to work permits. The contact details of business advisors can be found on the website of the TE Offices.

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You can notify both the TE Office and the local government pilot about the open job 

You may further notify the TE Office of the vacancy, investment opportunity, or a work trial opportunity. If there is a local government pilot in your area, you can also notify the municipality conducting the pilot about the open job. The only exceptions are job alternation leaves, which are managed only by the TE Office.

Requests for contact, job postings, work trial opportunities, and jobs for which pay subsidy is paid submitted through the employer's E-services of TE Services are always referred to the TE Office for processing.

Check whether you need to apply for pay subsidy from the TE Office or from the local government pilot

When applying for a pay subsidy during a local government pilot, it should be noted that the persons recruited in your region may be customers of either the TE Office or the local government pilot. If you recruit two people with pay subsidy, one may be a TE Office customer and the other may be a local government pilot customer.

When filling in a pay subsidy application, you must know whether you are applying for a pay subsidy from the TE Office or from a local government pilot. The easiest way to find out this is to ask the person being recruited whether they are a customer of a local government pilot or the TE Office. If the customer has received a pay subsidy card, the correct authority must have been entered in the card. In unclear cases, ask the person to be recruited to find out about the matter from their own expert or from the telephone service for personal customers.  

It is a good idea to apply for a pay subsidy well in advance of the starting date of the employment relationship, as you must receive a positive pay subsidy decision before the employee with a pay subsidy can start working.

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