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    The Finnish labor legislation – an introduction part 8

    General collective agreement for universities — the 1600-hour-rule
    In this article, I continue to discuss “the 1600-hour-rule”, specifically from the point of view of the early stage researchers.

    The work plan for the Early-Stage Researchers

    If the main function of an Early-Stage Researcher is to work on their PhD and pursue further studies, then participation in teaching work and other duties that may be included in the work plan must be calculated so that they enable the completion of the thesis within the planned timetable. This is sometimes very problematic, if the Early-Stage Researcher is for example working in a project and so doing a lot of work beside their actual PhD. It is clear that if the majority of the work that the Early-Stage Researcher is doing is outside their PhD work, the employment contract should not be made for a fixed-term in relation to the PhD. The employer should not use the PhD status as a false premise for hiring a researcher on a fixed-term contract.

    It is recommended in the collective agreement that no more than 5% of the annual working time of the Early-Stage Researchers is used for teaching. Also, the teaching they do, should be relevant to their own field of research, whenever possible.

    Teaching not agreed upon in the work plan (all teachers and researchers)

    If an employee has consented to do more teaching assigned by the unit than was originally agreed upon in the work plan, then special compensation must be paid for this work. The basic hourly salary rate for this separate compensation will be derived by dividing the annual salary of the employee by 1,600. Universities may limit the amount of teaching that is not specified in the work plan.

    So far, I have written a series of articles in the preceding 7 Acatiimi-magazines. I started with an introduction to the Finnish labor law, then wrote about the Employment Contracts Act (parts 1 and 2), about the Working Hours Act, Annual Holiday Act and Occupational Safety And Health Act, and about working on a grant/scholarship. Now, I have written two articles about the 1600-hour-rule in General Collective Agreement for the universities.

    Next time, I will discuss the Act on Equality between Women and Men and the Non-Discrimination Act, as well as the upcoming changes in these laws.

    For further information please visit: www.sivistystyonantajat.fi/tiedostopankki/158/General_collective_agreement_for_universities_1_April_2014_31_January_2017.pdf

    text Mia Weckman
    lawyer, the Finnish union of university researchers and teachers

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