At Work in Helsinki

Work Usage in Helsinki

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Work contract

The employer and employee agree upon terms of employment in a work contract. It is recommended that the contract be in written form and that it contain at least the following: the name of the employer /enterprise, the name of the employee, the nature of the work, the starting date of the employment, the duration of the employment, the notice period, the trial period, pay, and working hours. It is also recommended that an oral agreement be made in the presence of two witnesses. If the employment relationship is valid indefinitely or is intended to last a term over one month, the employer must give written information on the orally agreed principal terms of work, at the latest by the end of the first pay period. Any agreement which diminishes the rights and interests secured for employees in the labor legislation and/or the collective agreement is void.

Working hours

Regular working hours are usually 8 daily hours and 40 weekly hours. In a two week period the working hours are not more than 80 hours and in a three week period 120 hours. The working hours may be arranged by law or collective agreements alternatively. Each workplace must have a work schedule from which the workers' regular working hours, beginning and ending times and the placement of the rest periods can be read. To avoid possible misunderstandings employees should keep their own record of their hours and received wages.


There is no universal minimum wage in Finland . The collective agreement in most employment branches determines the pay and other minimum employment terms. It is also possible to agree on benefits such as food and residence in addition to the wage. The wages in the collective agreements are determined according to the employee's professional skills, experience and the geographical situation of the workplace (I and II cost regions).

Pay during illness

After working for the same employer for a month, employees are entitled to sick-leave pay to cover absences due to illness or injury. The working inability must be determined in a way satisfactory to the employer (for ex. a doctor's certificate). In the case of an employment that has lasted less than a month, sick leave will be compensated with 50% of the normal wages.  The law entitles employees to nine sick-leave days per year, but the actual agreement is usually for more sick leave pay.

Increased pay

Working hours exceeding the regular working hours (see Working hours) are overtime hours. Overtime is compensated with additional, higher pay: for the first two daily hours of overtime normal pay is increased by 50% and for the following hours by 100 %. Weekly over-time hours are increased by 50 %. The 12 first overtime hours of a two-week period and the 18 first hours of a three-week period are increased by 50 % and the following hours with double pay. Separate evening and night work compensations are paid according to collective agreements. Sunday work is paid double wages.

Accident insurance

A foreign employee working for a Finnish employer in Finland is to be insured by the employer with a mandatory accident insurance scheme. The insurance covers both accidents at work and on the journey to work. The employer must have an agreement of occupational health services with an occupational health service provider.

If a foreign employer has sent an employee temporarily to work in Finland , the employee may be covered by the sending country's insurance. Usually, unless the country in question is an EU/EEA or other country with a social security agreement, a posted worker's certificate must be acquired from the sending country. In questions concerning accident compensation an employee can turn to the Federation of Accident Insurance Institutions (FAII).


An employee has a right to receive pay also for the time he/she is on annual holiday. Normally holiday leave accumulates 2 days (when employment has lasted less than 1 year) or 2½ days for each holiday credit month. Normal wages are paid for the time an employee is on holiday. Earned holiday leave cannot be replaced with compensation pay unless the holiday cannot be given due to the ending of employment.

Holiday compensation must also be paid for workers who do not work enough hours to entitle them to paid holidays (working hours are under 35 h/month or working days under 14 days/month). Holiday compensation is 9-11%; 5%, in the construction branch; 18.5 %, of the accumulated wages during the holiday credit year, excluding raised pay for overtime or emergency work.  Holiday compensation must be paid when employment ends or, if so agreed, in addition to monthly wage. In many instances employees receive additional holiday money, usually a half of holiday wages.

Public and National Holidays

There are a dozen official holidays in Finland, 10 church holidays and two other national holidays, May Day on May 1st, also known as Vappu, and Independence Day on December 6th.

in Finnish




New Year's Day
Uudenvuoden päivä

Jan 1

Jan 1

Jan 1


Jan 6

Jan 6

Jan 6

Good Friday

Mar 21

Apr 10

Apr 2


Mar 23-24

Apr 12-13

Apr 4-5

May Day

May 1

May 1

May 1

Ascension Day

May 1

May 21

May 13


May 11

May 31

May 23

Midsummer Day

Jun 21

Jun 20

Jun 26

All Saints Day

Nov 1

Oct 31

Nov 6

Independence Day

Dec 6

Dec 6

Dec 6

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
Jouluaatto & Joulupäivä

Dec 24-25

Dec 24-25

Dec 24-25

Boxing Day

Dec 26

Dec 26

Dec 26

Update 20/05/2008


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