Terms of employment
The wage-earner's rights and responsibilities in the workplace and off work are defined by
- contract of employment entered between the employee and employer
- local contract that can be either company- or workplace-specific
- field-specific collective agreement
- legislation governing labour and employment
- workplace rules, established practices, and the employer's orders.
Personal contract of employment
Contract of employment is personal and it must always be made in writing.
Employment Guide (Työsuhdeopas) designed for the members of Trade Union Pro briefly presents the issues that should be remembered when entering a contract and also in later working life. The guide can be found on the member site. The use of the site requires logging in. Pro's member site also offers a template of a written contract of employment.
Collective agreements of the workplace
Local agreements negotiated by shop stewards and collective agreements negotiated by the trade union are both called collective.
Local agreements and collective agreements bind all the employees of the workplace. The employer is obliged to explain the contents of the agreements to the employee.
Employees should discuss the terms of employment concerning them also with the shop steward. The shop steward is an expert on contracts and agreements.
Legislation governing labour and employment
The Parliament of Finland decides on the legislation governing labour and employment. Employment-related acts are usually prepared in co-operation with the central organisations of employers and wage-earners.
Employment-related acts bind all wage-earners in Finland. In workplaces, the compliance with the law is supervised by shop stewards and labour protection representatives.
Workplaces can also have the employer's own instructions concerning the use of tools, for example.
What is a collective agreement?
A collective agreement (TES) is an agreement entered between a trade union and employer union concerning the terms of employments followed in the field.
The agreements are generally field-specific. They cover the terms of employment of clerical employees working, for example, in the field of financing, information technology service, construction, metal industry, or data communications industry.
Collective agreement binds the members of the signed trade unions and the employers who are members of an employer union which has signed the agreement. These kinds of agreements are called normally binding.
In addition, there are generally binding collective agreements. These extensive agreements also bind unorganised employers and the employees working for them.
- The collective agreement negotiated by Trade Union Pro and employer union defines the benefits and rights of the clerical employees in the field.
- It defines the minimum terms on the basis of which everyone can negotiate a better contract of employment for himself or herself.
- Collective agreement can be improved with a local agreement negotiated by the shop steward.
- Members can also influence the contents of the collective agreement of their field.
Collective agreement and minimum wages
Pay system is an integral part of collective agreement, since it defines the minimum wages.
The legislation governing labour and employment decided on by the Parliament of Finland lays the foundation for collective agreements. Since minimum wages are not defined in the Finnish legislation governing labour and employment, the wages of employees are based on collective agreements negotiated by trade unions.
Collective agreements are used for supplementing the legislation or for negotiating field-specific contracts. The main principle is that collective agreements cannot include terms that are inferior to the terms stated in the legislation.
Regulations mentioned in collective agreements most often concern working hours. These kinds of issues are, for example, systems for balancing of working time in shift work, shift work compensation and weekly days off.
There are regulations recorded in collective agreements that are not dealt with in the legislation. These kinds of issues are, for example, travel expenses, holiday bonus, additional days off (called “pekkasvapaat”) or sick pay or maternity leave pay.
Your collective agreement
As you begin your new job, always check which collective agreement your workplace follows. Information on the benefits and rights secured with the collective agreement is often valuable.
More specific information on the collective agreement is available from you shop steward or from Pro's employee counselling. In possible cases of conflict, Pro's members can seek assistance from the Union's shop steward and employee counselling.
Our employee counselling serves our members from Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 4 pm at +358 9 1727 3442.
How do you benefit from the collective agreement?
Pro's collective agreement ensures fair rules of the contractual relationship and appropriate pay.
Pro's shop steward negotiates in the workplace with the employer in the issues concerning the contracts of the clerical employees and supervises and safeguards the rights of the Union's members.
Collective agreement safeguards the correct pay and pay development. Pro agrees on the minimum wages and general pay increases that form the basis for the pay system of clerical employees. In addition, you can negotiate your personal pay increases.
Collective agreements also include decisions on working hours and overtime pay. Trade Union Pro's collective agreements include, for example, agreements on shift differential, travel-time allowance, sick pay, maternity leave pay, holiday bonus, and on-call allowance.
Collective agreement covers you against arbitrary terminations and layoffs, since the agreements state the rules to be followed in case of termination i.e. so-called termination procedures.