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Work and enterpreneurship

Etelä-Pohjanmaa - Työ ENG

General information about working life in Finland 

Reliability, punctuality, and equality are valued in Finland. It can be seen in all Finnish culture as well as in working life. 

For more information about Finnish work culture in 12 languages, visit InfoFinland pages. 

In Finland, laws and agreements determine what the rights and obligations of a worker are. The law dictates, for example, the working hours, the holidays, the pay for sick leave and the terms of termination. The law also determines, for example, minimum wages, that is, how much salary must be paid at minimum. 

Employment services belong to both job seekers and employers. If you are left unemployed, the TE Office will help you in the search for a new job or applying for training. In addition, you will be advised and guided in starting your own business. Early stage integration services specifically for immigrants in the TE Office include:   

  • guidance and advice to immigrants 
  • preliminary assessment 
  • integration plan 
  • integration training 

Work in Finland information for immigrants in 13 different languages 

Töissä SuomessaWork in Finland information for immigrants in 13 different languages 

Rights and obligations of the employee

IN FINLAND AN EMPLOYEE HAS THE RIGHT TO: 

  • remuneration in accordance with the collective agreement and other minimum provisions 
  • the protection provided by acts and contracts 
  • join a union 
  • a healthy and safe working environment 

AN EMPLOYEE HAS THE OBLIGATION TO: 

  • perform their work carefully 
  • comply with agreed working hours  
  • follow the instructions of the management 
  • decline from activities which compete with those of the employer 
  • keep business and trade secrets 
  • take into account the employer’s interests 

Source: InfoFinland, Employee rights and obligations InfoFinland 

Register as an unemployed jobseeker

If you are unemployed, you must register as a customer of TE Services. This is done in Oma Asiointi service if you have online banking codes, a mobile ID from your mobile operator or your smart ID card. Registration in the online service includes several steps. Go through all the steps carefully to keep your job search valid. If you stop your job search, your right to unemployment benefit ends. 

  • passport or certificate obtained from the police for the temporary possession of a passport 
  • residence permit 
  • a population register extract obtained from the Register Office or a Kela card or other document to indicate that you have a Finnish identity number 
  • work and school certificates translated into Finnish, Swedish or English 

Read more: Job Market Finland.   

If you have just moved to Finland and do not live here temporarily (for example, with a student’s residence permit) and do not yet have online banking codes, you can fill in this form: https://asiointipalvelu.ahtp.fi/public/1/fill . You can also register as an unemployed jobseeker by phone (if you have been unemployed as a jobseeker previously) or by visiting the TE Office. When you first go to the TE Office, take with you:

  • passport or certificate obtained from the police for the temporary possession of a passport 
  • residence permit 
  • a population register extract obtained from the Register Office or a Kela card or other document to indicate that you have a Finnish identity number 
  • work and school certificates translated into Finnish, Swedish or English 

TE-services – Oma asiointi (mol.fi) 

Registration guidelines for the citizens of EU and EEA countries – Job Market Finland

Registration instructions for the citizens of other countries – Job Market Finland

Personal customer phone service – Job Market Finland 

Job search and job application

All freely available jobs in Finland can be found on the TE Services website.   

However, there are a lot of “hidden jobs” in Finland for which it is good to have networks. The best way to find these jobs is to network with locals. 

Usually when you apply for a job, you send your employer a job application and a CV (Curriculum Vitae), that is, a resume. Write an application and CV in the same language that has been used in the job posting. Write a new application and update your CV every time you apply for a new job. You can also directly contact the workplace that interests you. You can submit an open application or call an employer even if there are no vacancies available. In an open application, describe your competencies and what kind of tasks you could do. 

The purpose of the job application is to catch the interest of the employer, so that you can get to a job interview. Respond in the application to the wishes and requirements mentioned in the job posting. Highlight the things that are important in the position as well as concrete examples of your competence. The job application is usually about one page. Ask that someone reads and reviews your application. 

More information on job applications, work and study certificates, salary requests, identifying your own competencies and degree recognition can be found here: Job application and CV – InfoFinland.

Source: InfoFinland: Job Application and CV – InfoFinland 

Resume i.e. CV

In the resume, or CV, you describe your competencies, work experience and training in a concise and clear form. There are different types of CV templates. Check out the various CV types and build a CV that suits you. A CV is usually 1-2 pages long. 

You can add a summary or profile at the beginning of your CV to describe your background and core competence in a few sentences. You can describe what your job search goals are or what special skills you have. You can also add a photo of yourself. More information on how to write a CV can be found here: Job application and CV — InfoFinland.

Source: InfoFinland Job Application and CV – InfoFinland 

Job interview

It is good to carefully prepare for a job interview: 

  • Get to know your employer and company for example through websites 
  • Recall what position you have applied for and what has been said in the advertisement for the job 
  • Practice to describe your competencies by going through your resume 
  • Think in advance what questions the employer might ask you and think about how to answer them 
  • Think about the questions you want to ask about the position and the employer 

You can find more information on job interviews in the Tips for finding a job – Job Market Finland

Entrepreneurship and business advice

When you want to start a business, consider carefully whether you have a good business idea. Also, think about whether you have enough professionalism and experience, and plan on how to arrange your funding. Contact your municipality’s Business Advisor. Business Advisor helps you by going through various forms of business, the business idea, the business plan and the starter money, and making a start-up notification. The advice service is free of charge and confidential. 

The key stages of setting up a business: 

  • Come up with a good business idea 
  • Make a business plan 
  • Organize funding 
  • Choose a business form 
  • Find out what permits you need 
  • Make a declaration to the Trade Register and tax authorities 
  • Take care of insurance 
  • Organize accounting 

On the InfoFinland.fi website you can find more information on how to set up a business in 12 languages, for example, about business plans or business financing. 

The starting entrepreneur’s guide can be found in 7 languages on the website of the Enterprise Agencies. 

Information in Finland as an entrepreneur in different languages (Finnish, English, Russian and Estonian) can be found on the website of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. 

Trade Union and Unemployment Fund

In Finland, most workers belong to a trade union of their field. However, this is optional. In Finland, legislation secures the right of a worker to belong to a trade union. The job of unions is to seek to safeguard the interests and rights of its members in employment. Union members pay a membership fee. That is usually about 1% to 2% of your salary. The membership fee is tax-deductible.  

Benefits from being part of a union: 

  • Unions are safeguarding your interests and rights. 
  • Unions are working to improve wages and job security for workers. 
  • From the professional union, you can get support from the employee representative in workplace disputes. 
  • From the union you can get advice and negotiation help. 
  • If you get unemployed, you will receive earning-based (salary based) daily allowance, which is better than the daily allowance paid by Kela. 

If you can’t find a trade union that suits you, or think that it doesn’t suit you, you might still want to join the unemployment fund, which is open to all. An employee in the unemployment fund pays a membership fee to the unemployment fund, which is usually around 70-100 euro per year. If you run out of work and you are left unemployed, you can apply for the earning-based unemployment allowance from the fund. Joining the unemployment fund pays off because the earning-based daily allowance is higher than the standard unemployment payment. 

It is important to join the unemployment fund as soon as your employment begins. 

On the InfoFinland page, you can find more information about trade unions. 

Health and safety at work

In Finland, a lot of attention is paid to safety at work. The employer is responsible for allowing everyone to do the work safely. The employer must arrange orientation for a new employee to get acquainted with the workplace. The employer also has a duty to familiarize employees with workplace safety guidelines and teach them the right work practices. 

  • The purpose of workplace health and safety is to reduce and eliminate hazards at work 
  • Workplace health and safety aims to promote human health, safety and comfort 
  • It is primarily meant for the employee 
  • For example, you can report poor working conditions and treatment to a health and safety representative, however, your first point of contact should be with your union or unemployment fund 

Source: Health and safety at work – InfoFinland 

Tax card

Different taxes are paid in Finland. Most of them go directly from the salary and for this you need a tax card which you need to give to the employer. 

InfoFinland Taxation – InfoFinland 

Tax Administration – Arriving in Finland.

Kotona Suomessa, taxation in different languages-videos. 

The contract of employment

In the employment contract, the employee and the employer agree on how the work is done and the salary, as well as other benefits and conditions related to the job. The employment contract applies to both parties. An employment contract should always be done in writing. Read the employment contract carefully before you sign it. If you don’t understand what the employment contract says, don’t sign it. 

Employment contract: Content of employment contract – InfoFinland

Sick leave

If you get sick or have an accident, you have the right to be away from work. You must report being sick to your workplace supervisor right away. Your employer may ask you for a medical certificate of illness or accident. 

The employer has a duty to pay wages for sick time. If your employment has continued for more than a month prior to your illness or accident, you will receive the full pay for at least the day you get sick and nine days after the date you get sick. If you can’t return to work after that, you can apply for the sickness allowance from Kela if you are part of Finnish social security. 

Source: If you get sick – InfoFinland 

The certificate of employment

When a work relationship ends, the employee has the right to receive a certificate of employment from the employer. You need a certificate of employment when you apply for a new job or register as unemployed. The certificate of employment states the duration of employment and work duties. The employee can also ask for an extended certificate of employment, in which the employer includes the reason the work relationship came to an end and an evaluation of the employee’s occupational skills and conduct. 

Source: Certificate of employment – InfoFinland 

Problem situations

If you have a problem situation at your workplace, talk to your manager first. If it doesn’t help, contact your workplace employee representative or your own trade union. You can also contact the workplace health and safety authorities. Questions and answers to problems in working life and more information can be found here – InfoFinland. 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Telephone service – Occupational Health and Safety (tyosuojelu.fi)