Wage and salary levels in Finland
Finnish law does not specify a minimum wage. Employers’ organisations and trade unions have agreed on minimum wages in collective agreements (TES) in various sectors.
In 2022, the minimum wage in, for example, cleaning work was EUR 11.24 per hour and in house construction EUR 11.26 per hour. Experience and education lead to higher wages.
The wage must not be less than what the collective agreement stipulates. In most sectors, employers must observe the applicable collective agreement. Collective agreements are often abbreviated as TES.
If there is no collective agreement in the sector of work, employers and employees may agree on the pay. According to law, the pay must be normal and reasonable, that is, you must receive the same wage or salary as other people who do the same work. You can compare wages and salaries, for example, in online services. You can also ask for more information about your sector’s level of pay from the trade union.
In the case of a trial period, normal pay must be paid during the trial period. You can only do an unpaid traineeship if you are a student and the traineeship is part of your studies or if you are in a TE Services work try-out.
Read more about prices and other costs of living in Finland on the InfoFinland page Cost of living in Finland.
Payment of wages
Wages and salaries may be paid on an hourly, weekly or monthly basis. In some sectors, work is done on piecework pay, on the basis of results. In addition to money, employees may receive payment in the form of benefits. For example, the employer can give you a mobile phone or pay for your lunch. These are called benefits in kind (luontoisetu).
The employer must pay the salary or wage to your bank account on the date agreed in the employment contract. As a rule, payment is made once a month or every two weeks. If the payday falls during a weekend or holiday, the payment will be made on the previous weekday. The salary is also paid during sick leave and annual leave.
The employer must give you a payslip (palkkalaskelma) whenever you receive a salary or wage. Check that the payslip information is correct every time. Keep a record of your hours worked to make it easier to check. The payslip shows which period you have been paid for and how much. The payslip also shows how much tax and other charges have been deducted. If your employer will not give you a payslip, you can ask for help from the occupational safety and health authority.
Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAKWages in FinlandLink redirects to another website
Occupational Safety and Health AdministrationInformation on the payment of wagesLink redirects to another website
Working hours refers to the time spent at work during which the employee must be at the workplace or at the employer’s disposal. In Finland, working hours are regulated by the Working Hours Act and collective agreements.
Working hours vary from one sector to another. According to law, regular working hours may not exceed 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week. An employee is usually entitled to two days off per week.
In some jobs, such as in the restaurant sector, transport sector and at nursing institutions, regular working hours can be organised as intermittent work. In this case, the regular working hours are either 80 hours in a two-week period or 120 hours in a three-week period. In the restaurant sector, regular working hours cannot exceed 112.5 hours in three weeks. Check the working hours in the collective agreement for your sector.
Sliding working hours means that you can decide for yourself at what time of day you start and stop working.
In shift work shifts vary, and you can work, for example, morning shifts, evening shifts or night shifts. The employer must make a work shift list in advance and you must be able to view it no later than one week before the beginning of the working week.
If the employer asks you to work overtime, i.e. work that is done in addition to regular working hours, you must receive an increased salary for it. The increase is at least 50%. You can also agree with your employer to receive paid time off instead of overtime pay. If you work an hour overtime, you must receive 1.5 hours of paid leave. You do not have to agree to work overtime.
Work can be full-time or part-time. Full-time work means that you work a full day, usually about eight hours a day and five days a week. Part-time work means that you only work part of the day or part of the week.
Variable working hours can also be agreed in the employment contract. In this case, the exact working hours are not agreed, and instead you agree on the number of hours, for example, 10–30 hours or 0–40 hours per week. If a minimum of zero hours has been agreed for a certain period of time, it is called a zero-hour contract. In this case, the employer calls you to work as needed, and the employer is not obliged to offer you working hours. You also do not have to accept the working hours offered. If you do not get working hours, you do not get paid. There must be grounds for agreeing on variable working hours, and the agreement must be updated if the employer’s need for labour increases. If possible, do not enter into a zero-hour contract, and instead try to negotiate a minimum number of hours in the employment contract.
An employer must keep a record of the hours worked by an employee. You have the right to get a copy of the records of working hours from your employer. You should also keep a record yourself of the hours you have worked. Remember to also record the start and end times of the work shifts.
Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAKWorking hours Link redirects to another website
Occupational Safety and Health AdministrationZero-hour contractLink redirects to another website
Occupational Safety and Health AdministrationWorking hoursLink redirects to another website
Collective agreements lay down the terms and conditions of employment that must be observed in a particular sector. They cover salary or wages, working hours and holidays. The agreement was concluded by the employers’ and employees’ unions. Collective agreements are often abbreviated as TES. When the employer is a municipality or state, the collective agreement on civil servants’ salaries (VES) or the general municipal collective agreement (KVTES) is observed.
Almost all sectors have their own collective agreements. For example, the trade, construction and tourism sectors have their own collective agreements. Familiarise yourself with the agreement in your own sector. You can find it at your workplace, trade union or online.
The collective agreement lays down the minimum conditions to be met in the sector. The contract of employment cannot offer terms lesser than these minimums. For example, the pay cannot be lower than what has been agreed upon in the collective agreement. However, an employer and employee can agree on better conditions than those stipulated in the collective agreement.
The collective agreement is binding on employers’ and employees’ unions and their members. A collective agreement can also be generally applicable. A generally applicable agreement must be respected by all employers even if they are not members of any employers’ association.
You can also read the InfoFinland page Trade unions.
Contract of employment
Make a written contract of employment with the employer when you start a new job. The employment contract records the tasks, salary or wages and other terms and conditions as well as the benefits of the employment relationship, such as lunch or mobile phone benefits.
The employment contract can also be verbal. However, you should always make a written employment contract. This allows the employee and employer to check what they agreed on in cases of conflict at work.
Read the employment contract carefully before signing it. Ask your employer if you do not understand a point. When you sign the employment contract, you accept its terms. Read more about making a contract of employment on the InfoFinland page Contents of a contract of employment.
Occupational Safety and Health AdministrationMaking a contract of employmentLink redirects to another website
Written explanation of the terms and conditions of work
If you have not made a written employment contract, the employer must give you a written explanation of the terms and conditions of work. The explanation does not need to be given if the employee’s working hours are on average no more than three hours per week during a period of four consecutive weeks.
The explanation must include.
- the employer’s and employee’s place of residence or place of business
- the work commencement time
- the duration of a fixed-term employment and the reason for its fixed-term nature
- probationary period
- place of work
- employee’s tasks
- the collective agreement applicable to the work
- salary basis and pay period
- regular working hours
- the way annual holiday is determined
- period of notice
- the insurance institution with which the employee is insured for pension cover, occupational accidents and disease.
If you do not receive an explanation, first ask your employer for it. You can also ask the occupational safety and health authorities for help. The employer may receive fines if they fail to provide the employee with an explanation.
If an employer in another country has sent you to Finland to work, you are a so-called seconded employee. The terms and conditions and agreements governing employment and pay in Finland also apply to seconded employees. In other words, the Finnish working hours and wage regulations must be observed even if they are different from those in your country of origin. You can check from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s online service or the guide below what kind of working conditions and terms and conditions of employment must be observed in Finland.