Temporary changes to Finnish labor law due to COVID-19 outbreak

A number of temporary amendments have been introduced to Finland\’s labour laws. The purpose of the amendments is to facilitate the adaption of the employer\’s business operations to the COVID-19 outbreak\’s when the outbreak has significantly affected the demand of the employer\’s products and services.

The negotiation period provided for by the co-operations act is shortened: The shortest period for co-operation negotiations is reduced to five days.

The right to lay-off is extended to fixed term employment contracts: The amendments allow employer\’s to lay off employees that work under fixed-term employment contracts in the same extent as  regular employees may be laid off.

The notice period for commencing co-operation negotiations is shortened: The notice period for commencing co-operation negotiations is reduced to five days from 14 days.

Termination of employment during trial period: An employment contract may be terminated during the trial period based on economic or production grounds.

Extension of the time frame for re-employing an employee: The employer’s obligation to re-employ an employee has been extended to nine months if the employee’s employment contract has been terminated based on economic or production grounds during 01.04 – 30.06.2020.

If shorter or longer time frames than five days for the notice period and negotiations have been agreed in an applicable collective agreement, the collective agreement will be applied. The same applies to the time frames of the obligation to re-employ an employee.

The amendments to the Employment Contract Act, Seafarers’ Employment Contracts Act and the Act on Co-operation within Undertakings are in force 01.04 – 30.06.2020.