Employment contract and employment relationship

Employee protection is the starting point for labour legislation. Because of this, labour legislation contains provisions that cannot be deviated from to the disadvantage of the employee.

Employment Contracts Act is the basic law regulating employment relationships. It is applied to work performed in employment relationships in both private and public sectors regardless of the nature of the work. Separate provisions exist for public-service relationships. 

The most important acts applied to employment relationships of individual employees are:

  • Employment Contracts Act
  • Working Time Act
  • Annual Holidays Act
  • Study Leave Act and
  • Act on the Protection of Privacy in Working Life.

The Employment Contracts Act and other pieces of labour legislation are only applicable to employees working for an employer under the employer’s direction and supervision (in an employment relationship) and not as an entrepreneur. In addition, for example the Young Workers’ Act lays down provisions for young workers. There are separate pieces of legislation applying to workers posted to Finland and to the continuation of employment relationship during military and non-military service.The provisions contained in the legislation covering work at sea are applied to seamen’s employment contracts.

Remote work

Remote work means work that is performed at home or another location away from the regular place of work the content and form of which have been jointly agreed by the employer and the employee. Remote work is one way of organising the manner of performing work.

Publications (descriptions in English)

Further information

Labour legislation, brochures

Guidance and supervision of  labour legislation: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Osha)
Law-drafting: Nico Steiner, nico.steiner(at)gov.fin Elli Nieminen, elli.nieminen(at)gov.fi, Anette Laiho, anette.laiho(at)gov.fi