New employees should immediately check their agreed terms and conditions of employment against the collective agreement for the working sector concerned. The collective agreement sets out the basic employment standards for that sector, such as the minimum rates of pay and various bonuses.
A collective agreement is a general settlement of employment conditions that is concluded for a fixed period between the trade unions and one or more employers in each business sector or industry.
Most collective agreements in Finland are generally binding for the sector or industry in question. This means that an employer must respect the minimum employment standards that are guaranteed under the collective agreement, even when the employer does not belong to the organisation that concluded the agreement and the employee is not a union member.
Details of the collective agreement for your working sector are available from the shop steward at your workplace or directly from your own union. The Finnish language versions of most collective agreements are available online from the Finlex database at www.finlex.fi.
The Finlex database (www.finlex.fi/en) also includes English translations of key labour laws, such as the Employment Contracts Act and the Annual Holidays Act. Some collective agreements have also been translated into English and these translations are available from the relevant union or employers’ federation.