Temporary changes to the Employment Contracts Act due to the coronavirus epidemic
The changes to the Employment Contracts Act are designed to bring relief to the difficult situation businesses are facing.
The Parliament of Finland has agreed temporary changes to the Employment Contracts Act. These came into force on Wednesday 1 April and will remain in place until 30 June 2020. The changes are designed to help business operators at a time when customers have disappeared and sales collapsed due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Fixed-term employees can also be laid off
The decision of parliament means that fixed-term employees can now be laid off on the same conditions as employees on contracts concluded for an indefinite period. Fixed-term employees can be laid off either temporarily or until further notice. An employer must have grounds for laying off a fixed-term employee.
"A fixed-term employee is entitled to unemployment security during a lay-off and the right to cancel the employment contract owing to the lay-off. This makes it possible to accept new work, if this is available", says PAM’s Chief Negotiator, Juha Ojala.
Cancellation of employment relationship during trial period facilitated
An employer can cancel the employment relationship of an employee in a trial period also for production and financial reasons. The normal practice is that the employment relationship of an employee in a trial period can only be cancelled for reasons having to do with the employee. An employee affected by cancellation of a trial period is entitled to unemployment security.
Take-back obligation extended
The take-back period for employees whose employment is terminated by the end of June is being extended in legislation from four to nine months. An employer, therefore, has an extended obligation to take an employee back to work rather than taking on a new employee for the job. The extended take-back obligation applies to terminated employees regardless of the length of their employment relationship.
"This is good for workers whose employment is terminated. PAM already agreed this earlier in its key collective agreements ", Ojala says.
"You should first check what it says in your own collective agreement ", says PAM Chief Negotiator Juha Ojala.
Derogations made to PAM collective agreements due to the coronavirus epidemic here.
Summary of derogations made to employment and unemployment security legislation here.
Temporary changes to PAM agreements
The Parliament of Finland has amended employment legislation, making lay-offs easier by shortening lay-off notice periods and the duration of co-operation negotiations. The temporary legislation is in force until 30 June.
PAM has negotiated corresponding temporary changes to collective agreements together with the employers’ federations. The changes affect, among other things, lay-off notice times and the duration of the co-operation process, but also self-notification, i.e. when an ill employee or the parent of an ill child can be off work and at home without a medical certificate.
You can check the changes made to PAM’s collective agreements due to the coronavirus here.