Concluding an employment contract

Form and duration of employment contract

An employment contract may be made orally, in writing or in electronic form but it is recommended that the contract is made in writing. An employment contract may be valid indefinitely or for a fixed term. A fixed-term employment contract may only be concluded at the employer’s initiative if there are justified grounds for doing so (such as a need for a substitute or seasonal nature of the work). An employment contract may always be concluded on a fixed-term basis at the employee’s request.

Trial period

An employment contract may contain a provision on a trial period. The trial period usually lasts for four months. Either party may cancel the employment contract during the trial period, notwithstanding the grounds for termination laid down in the Employment Contracts Act.

Fixed-term employment contract

A fixed-term employment contract is binding on the employer and the employee for the whole duration of the contract period. A fixed-term employment relationship terminates at the end of the agreed period or after the agreed work task has been completed. During its validity, a fixed-term employment contract may only be terminated on cancellation grounds.

Information on principal terms and conditions of work

The employer must present the employee with written information on the principal terms of work, unless these terms are laid down in a written employment contract. These include

  • start date of the employment relationship
  • duration of and basis for a fixed-term employment contract
  • employee’s work tasks
  • place of work
  • grounds for determining pay and other remuneration
  • regular working hours
  • determining annual holiday
  • period of notice or the grounds for determining it, and
  • applicable collective agreement.

Further information:

Guidance and supervision of  labour legislation: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Osha)
Law-drafting: Tarja Kröger, tarja.kroger(at)tem.fi