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    The Finnish labor legislation an introduction part 3

    The employment contracts act, part 2/2

    A temporary interruption of work and the adjacent remuneration based on the employer's decision or an agreement made on the employer's initiative, while the employment relationship continues in other respects, is called a lay-off.

    While being laid off, employees are entitled to take on other work. The employer may lay off employees when there is a financial or production-related reason for terminating the employment contract, or if there is a temporary decrease in duties.

    Fixed-term employment contracts end without giving notice at the end of the contract period. Employment contracts which are permanent are terminated by giving notice to the other party. Unless otherwise agreed, the notice periods are stated in the Employment Contracts Act.

    If the employer allows the employee to continue to work after the expiry of the contract or notice period, the employment is considered to have continued as a permanent contract.

    The employer is not allowed to terminate a permanent employment contract without a proper and weighty reason. The overall circumstances must be taken into account when assessing the reason. At least the following cannot be regarded as proper and weighty reasons: illness, disability or accident affecting the employee, (unless working capacity is substantially reduced); participation of the employee in industrial action arranged by an employee organization; the employee's political, religious or other opinions; participation in social activity or associations, or resorting to means of legal protection available to employees.

    Employees who have neglected their duties or committed a breach thereof will not, however, be given notice before they have been warned and given a chance to amend their conduct.

    The employer may terminate the employment contract if there has been a substantial and permanent decrease in work load for financial or production-related reasons, or because of the reorganization of the employer's operations. The employment contract may not be terminated, however, if the employee can be placed in or trained for other duties. At least the following constitute a violation of the rules of termination: the employer has employed a new employee for similar duties either before termination or thereafter even though the employer's operating conditions have not changed during this period, or if no actual reduction of work has taken place as a result of work reorganization. The employer must provide employees with a reasonable amount of training required by new work duties.

    The employer is not allowed to terminate an employment contract on the basis of the employee's pregnancy or family leave.

    If the employee has been absent from work for the minimum of 7 days without notifying the employer of a valid reason for the absence for this period, the employer is entitled to consider the employment contract cancelled.

    On termination of the employment relationship, the employee is entitled to receive, on request, a written certificate of the employment.

    Any legal action related to the employment must be taken within 2 years of the end of the employment.

    text Mia Weckman
    lawyer, the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers

    • Painetussa lehdessä sivu 44