Employee's rights and obligations

The Finnish working life is governed by different rules that both employees and employers must comply with. Legislation and collective agreements specify, for example, the minimum wage, working hours, holidays, sick pay and terms of notice.

As an employee, you are entitled to, among other things,

  • a salary or wages in accordance with the collective agreement and other minimum terms of employment (e.g., holidays, sick pay, family leave and terms of notice),
  • working hours in accordance with the law and agreements,
  • join a trade union,
  • a healthy and safe working environment,
  • occupational health care and occupational safety,
  • a written employment contract, and
  • equal treatment in the workplace.

As an employee, you also have obligations. For example, you must:

  • do your work carefully,
  • observe the agreed working hours,
  • follow instructions given to you by your employer about performing the work (right of supervision), and
  • take into account the employer's interests (loyalty obligation) also in your free time.

Furthermore, you must not harm your employer. For example, do not talk about any business and professional secrets outside your work.

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Privacy protection

The employer is only allowed to process personal data necessary for the employee’s employment relationship, i.e., the information must be connected to managing your or your employer's rights and obligations.

Personal data collected by the employer on you must principally be collected only from you. However, the employee's consent to acquire information is not required when an authority needs to disclose information to the employer to enable the latter to fulfil a statutory duty or when the employer acquires on legal grounds personal credit data or information from the criminal record in order to establish the employee’s reliability.

The employer must not store outdated, erroneous or unnecessary information on its employees.

Right to strike

The Constitution of Finland guarantees the freedom of association, which includes the right to strike as an essential element. The right to strike is also included in the fundamental rights of workers defined by the International Labour Organization (ILO). A trade union is always responsible for a decision to go on strike, not an individual member. Employer and employee organisations provide more information on strikes.

Neglect of obligations

If you neglect your job duties or your other obligations, your employer may reprimand you or issue a warning.

If you have received a warning, you have the chance to amend your conduct. If you feel that the warning you were given is unfounded, submit a written response to the employer, stating your differing opinion and the grounds for it.

Repeated negligence and the resulting warnings may lead to your employment relationship being terminated. In the case of such gross misconduct that the employer cannot reasonably be expected to uphold the employment relationship, an employment contract may be terminated even after a single such incident.

More information

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