Posting of workers means a situation where a foreign employer sends an employee to Finland for work. The employee must normally work outside Finland and the posting must be of limited duration. The employee can be sent to Finland to do subcontracting work, temporary agency work or as part of a group-internal transfer.
The Posted Workers Act applies to employees posted to Finland, irrespective of whether the employer is from an EU country or from outside the EU. However, the act is not applied to the crew working on board ships of enterprises practising merchant shipping.
Certain provisions and regulations of Finnish law must be applied to the employment contract of workers posted to Finland in so far as they are more favourable for the worker than the provisions otherwise to be applied to them.
All provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, Occupational Health Care Act and the Young Workers’ Act apply to posted workers. Some of the provisions of the Act on Equality between Women and Men also apply to posted workers. Furthermore, the provisions on working hours, annual holiday and occupational safety laid down in the generally applicable collective agreements must be observed in the employment relationships of posted workers.
Information on the social security of posted workers is provided by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The Finnish Centre for Pensions issues A1/E101-certificates for posted workers and makes the decisions regarding applicable social security legislation. Information about the taxation of posted workers is provided by the Finnish Tax Administration.
The amendments of the Act 1.12.2020
The amendments concern
- more detailed guidelines on pay provisions applicable to posted workers;
- restrictions to the employer’s right to set off receivables against an employee’s salary;
- a new provision for making pay comparisons according to which any payments made by the employer of an uncertain nature would be regarded as compensation for expenses and not as wage or salary;
- extension of applicable collective agreements in transfers within a subcontracting or corporate group;
- application of the same accommodation quality requirements to posted and local workers;
- additional employment conditions to be applied in long postings lasting at least 12 months; and
- the employer’s obligation to compensate the posted worker’s travel, accommodation and meal expenses incurred during travel from the worker’s regular workplace in Finland during the posting.
The amendment introduce also a protection provision concerning travel and accommodation costs arising from the person’s posting to Finland. The provision apply in situations where the posted worker is not entitled to protection on the basis of the law, standard practice or employment contract of the country of origin, or the protection would be substantially below what is considered normal and reasonable for the work in question in Finland. The new provision reconciles the level of protection in the country of origin, protection agreed in the employment contract, and protection in the country of employment.
Changes to the Posted Workers Act (tyosuojelu.fi)
Compliance with the Posted Workers Act is supervised by the occupational safety and health authorities. Compliance with the provisions of the Equality Act is supervised by the Ombudsman for Equality and the National Discrimination and Equality Tribunal.
The occupational safety and health authorities advise employers and employees in questions related to legislation on employment relationships and to generally applicable collective agreements.
The OSH Division of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southwestern Finland serves as the Finnish liaison office required under the directive 96/71/EC on the posting of workers, e-mail: postedworkersfin(at)avi.fi.
Law-drafting: Päivi Kantanen, paivi.kantanen(at)tem.fi