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Changes to collective agreements due to the coronavirus epidemic

Updated: 29.06.2020

The situation in service sectors and in society generally has changed rapidly due to the coronavirus epidemic.  PAM has agreed temporary changes to collective agreements together with employers’ federations so that we can get through this situation.

Both employees and businesses are suffering from the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus epidemic. Both are worried for health and financial reasons. To make the impact of the epidemic as short-lived as possible, necessary actions should be taken quickly.  Therefore, on the proposal of the Finnish government and labor market organizations, Parliament has amended labor legislation and PAM has negotiated temporary changes to collective agreements together with the employers’ federations. 

Here you will find the agreed temporary changes by collective agreement. In the spring, the changes were agreed to end in the summer, but have now been extended so that most of them will remain in force until the end of 2020. Information on validity periods can be found for each collective agreement.

Other service sector amendmends laid down by Parliament in the labor law, you can find  here (in Finnish).

Elsewhere on PAM’s website you can find information on the rules that are in place “normally”, which are different from those presented here. Therefore we have tried to highlight in the texts the rules that apply outside of the exemption period.

Click your agreement sector below to see the changes in place in that sector for a limited period.

Agreement sectors (changes updated 24/6/2020)


Commercial sector

The changes come into force on 19 March 2020 and they have been updated 1 April, 2020. New decisions on continuing the changes has been made at the beginning of June.  Some were continued, some not. Flexibility can be applied to measures initiated during the agreement period and during the validity of the amendment.

Layoff notice period shortened 
Employers must give employees notice of a layoff. A layoff must now be notified to an employee 5 days (normally 14 and agreed workplacewise 7 ) before it starts.

Until the end of 30 June 2020, individual workplaces can agree that the notice period is 3 days in accordance with Section 23. If a shop steward has been appointed, this is to be agreed with him or her.

Deadlines for co-operation negotiations shortened 
Until 30.6.2020: In co-operation negotiations for dismissal of employees, layoffs or introduction of part-time working, an employer must make a consultation proposal no later than 3 days (normally 5) before the start of the negotiations. Starting from 1.7.2020  a consultation proposal must be made according to the Co-operation negotiation Act no later than 5 days before the start of the negotiations. 

From 1.7.2020, the minimum negotiation period for all layoff negotiations is 5 days, regardless of the duration of the layoffs or the number of people covered by them. 

Until 30.6.2020 layoffs not exceeding 90 days must be negotiated for at least four (4) days (normally 14 or 6 weeks), unless agreed otherwise in the co-operation negotiations. For other lay-offs the duration of the negotiations is at least 5 days (normally 14 days or 6 weeks).

Take-back obligation extended
An employer must offer work to an employee whose employment has been terminated for financial and production reasons, if the employer needs employees within 9 months (normally 4 or 6) of the end of the employment relationship, for the same or similar duties that the terminated employee had been doing. A further precondition is that the employee is still a jobseeker with the TE Office. 

The extended take-back obligation concerns those employees whose employment has been terminated in the period 1 April-31 December 2020.

Changing shift lists made easier 
Until 30 June, 2020, the coronavirus situation is a reason (new reason) for an employer to change shift lists. An employer must always make the necessary changes as soon as possible and take the situation caused by the virus into account when planning shifts.

Time for announcing shifts
Until 30 June, 2020, lists of shifts can be announced using a one-week notice period (normally 2 or in certain cases 3 weeks).

 

From 1.7.2020, the list of shifts must be published in accordance with the normal 2 and, in certain situations, 3 weeks notice period under the collective agreement.

For more specific conditions agreed between PAM and Finnish Commerce Federation, please see the Finnish site here.

Self-notification for sick leave 
Until 30 June 2020, employees can due to the corona pandemic notify employers themselves that they are incapacitated for work without a medical certificate. This notice can be for a maximum of 5 calendar days of sick leave resulting from an employee’s own flu or coronavirus. The employee must inform the employer immediately.

For justified reasons, an employer can require an employee to submit a medical certificate immediately.

As of July 1, 2020, normal collective bargaining practices will be followed. Any self-declaration procedures agreed at the workplace will continue, and a self-declaration procedure can be agreed locally at the workplace in accordance with the collective agreement.

Medical certificate not required for a child 
Until 30 June, 2020: If a child under the age of 10 falls ill, a parent is entitled to be paid wages for 1-3 days without a medical certificate (normally a medical certificate is required). If necessary it will also be attempted to grant the employee a 3-day unpaid absence.

Starting from 1 July, 2020, normal collective bargaining practices will be followed. Any procedures agreed at the workplace will continue, and a procedure can be agreed locally at the workplace in accordance with the collective agreement. 
 

Hotel, restaurant and leisure services

Amusement, theme and adventure parks collective agreement

Avecra train service staff collective agreement 

Ski resorts and adventure services sector collective agreements

Due to the exceptional situation the changes in the collective agreement for hotel, restaurant and leisure services (employees and supervisors) enter into force on 19 March 2020. For the collective agreements regardning amusement, theme and experience parks, Avecra, ski resorts and program services on 20.3.2020.

The changes have been specified on April 1, 2020 and PAM's Executive Committee has approved the continuation of the changes on June 10, 2020.

The changes are valid as long as the  law amendments are in force, which is until  31 December 2020. 

New temporary changes have come into effect on 26 May 2020. 

Layoff notice period shortened 
An employer must give an employee notice of a layoff. From 19 March the layoff notice period is being shortened to 5 days. (Previously 14 days) This means that if the layoff notice is given to the employee on 19 March, the first layoff day can be 24 March. 

Deadlines for co-operation negotiations shortened 
The notice period for co-operation negotiations and the duration of negotiations have been shortened for layoffs. This means that companies can conduct negotiations on, for example, layoffs on an accelerated timetable.

The co-operation negotiation proposal can be given no later than 3 days before the start of the negotiations if the negotiations concerned layoffs. (Previously 5 days)

For all lay-offs the duration of the negotiations is at least 5 days (normally 14 days or 6 weeks) regardless of lenght of lay-offs or number of employees involved.

Take-back obligation extended
An employer must offer work to an employee whose employment has been terminated for financial and production reasons, if the employer needs employees within 9 months (normally 4 or 6) of the end of the employment relationship, for the same or similar duties that the terminated employee had been doing.

A further precondition is that the employee is still a jobseeker with the TE Office. 

The extended take-back obligation concerns those employees whose employment has been terminated in the period 1 April-31 December 2020.

Self-notification for sick leave 
A self-notification procedure for sick leave is being introduced in companies due to the coronavirus pandemic. This temporary notification procedure is in force until 31 December.

Under this procedure, an employee’s right to sick leave based on self-notification applies to sick leave not exceeding 3 - 7 calendar days and resulting from the employee’s own flu or coronavirus. More detailed guidance from your employer. 

Right to absence by self-notification if a child under the age of 10 falls ill 
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a self-notification procedure is being introduced where a child under the age of 10 falls ill. This temporary notification procedure is in force until 31 December.

Under this procedure, an employee’s absence based on self-notification and due to a child’s illness cannot exceed 3-7 calendar days. More detailed guidance from your employer.

Shorter notice periods for shift lists 
(NEW 27 MAY! only applies to Avecra train service staff collective agreement)

Shift lists can be announced at 3 days’ notice and for one week at a time if it is particularly difficult to forecast the demand for services and labour requirements. The change must be agreed with the head shop steward. The head shop steward and the employer will provide their own update on the situation.

As regards maximum numbers of hours in a working hours period, when days off can be taken etc., the provisions of the collective agreement apply.

This exceptional arrangement is in place until 30 August 2020, unless the employer and the head shop steward decide before then to return to the provisions of the collective agreement.

Shorter notice periods for shift lists 
(NEW 27 MAY! only applies to hospitality sector employees and supervisors and amusement, theme and adventure park employees, as well as ski resort workers and employess in program service)
Shift lists can be announced at one week’s notice and for one week at a time if it is particularly difficult to forecast the demand for services and labour requirements.

The change must be agreed with the head shop steward. The head shop steward and the employer will provide their own update on the situation.

As regards maximum numbers of hours in a working hours period, when days off can be taken etc., the provisions of the collective agreement apply.

This exceptional arrangement is in place until 30 September 2020, unless the employer and the head shop steward decide before then to return to the provisions of the collective agreement.

Postponing annual holiday 
(NEW 27 MAY! only applies to hospitality sector employees and supervisors and amusement, theme and adventure park employees)
If an employee has been laid off for at least 2 weeks or 10 working days after 1 April 2020, their annual holiday can be split into shorter periods if they have earned over 12 days of holiday.  

Summer holiday in the current holiday period (2 May-30 September 2020) in excess of 12 days can be given in one or more instalments. The holiday must be given by 30 April 2021, however.

If an employee has a single period of holiday that falls after 30 September, it must be at least 6 days in length (if the employee has enough untaken holiday days for this). If holiday is postponed until after 30 September at the employer’s decision, the employer must pay particular attention to the employee’s coping.

Coping can be supported for example by giving days off earned (V/X) on consecutive days and weekends off more often than stipulated in the collective agreement. The procedure is to be applied until all postponed summer holiday days have been taken.

Facility services sector


Due to the exceptional circumstances the changes agreed will come into force on 20 March 2020. 

Due to the exceptional situation with the corona virus pandemic, the amendments to the collective agreement in the facility services sector have expired on 31 May 2020. In the sector, the amendments to the legislation agreed due to the corona epidemic (here in Finnish) and in other respects the collective agreement entries (here) are followed.


Cinemas collective agreement and
Removal service sector collective agreement 

 

The temporary amendments to the collective agreements in the cinemas and removal service sector expire on June 30, 2020. Thereafter, the sectors will comply with the exceptions to the legislation agreed upon due to the corona epidemic (here in Finnish) the collective agreement as such.

Majority of the changes came into force 19 March 2020 and have been specified 1 April, 2020. 

The time limit for giving a lay-off notice is shortened
Until 30 June, 2020, an employer must give an employee a lay-off notice at least 7 (normally 14) days before the start of the lay-off. From 1 July, 2020, until 31 December, 2020,  a lay-off notice must be given according to the exception of the Employment Contracts Act, which stipulates 5 days (normally 14).

Time limits for co-operation negotiations shortened 
Until 30 June, 2020: A negotiating proposal for co-operation negotiations based on a temporary lay-off requirement must be submitted no later than 3  (normally 5) days before the start of the negotiations and the negotiating period is at least 4 (normally 14) days, unless agreed otherwise in the co-operation negotiations.

As of 1.7.2020, the negotiation proposal must be submitted 5 days before the start of negotiations in accordance with the Co-operation Act.
From 1.7.2020 until 31.12.2020, the minimum negotiation period for all layoff negotiations is 5 days, in accordance with the exception of the Employment Contracts Act, regardless of the duration of the layoffs or the number of persons covered by them (normally 14 days or 6 weeks).

Take-back obligation extended
According the exception of the Employment Contracts Act, an employer must offer work to an employee whose employment has been terminated for financial and production reasons, if the employer needs employees within 9 months (normally 4 or 6) of the end of the employment relationship, for the same or similar duties that the terminated employee had been doing.
A further precondition is that the employee is still a jobseeker with the TE Office. 

The extended take-back obligation concerns those employees whose employment has been terminated in the period 1 April-31 December 2020.


Pharmacy employees collective agreement 

Amendments are in force until 31.12.2020.

Self-notification of sick leave 
Self-notification by an employee is accepted as grounds for payment of sick pay for 5 days due to flu or coronavirus-like symptoms. 

An employee must notify the employer of this without delay. For a valid reason an employer may require an employee to produce a medical certificate straight away.

Medical certificate not required for child 
Self-notification by an employee of the illness of a child below 10 years is accepted as grounds for payment of sick pay for 5 days due to flu or coronavirus-like symptoms.

Lay-off notice period shortened 
An employer must give an employer a lay-off notice at least 5 (normally 14) days before the lay-off. 

Time limit for co-operation negotiations shortened 
The minimum duration of negotiations under the Act on Co-operation within Undertakings is 5 days (normally 14 days or 6 weeks), if an employer lays off employees.

Take-back obligation extended 
An employer must offer work to an employee whose employment has been terminated for financial and production reasons, if the employer needs employees within 9 months (normally 4 or 6) of the end of the employment relationship, for the same or similar duties that the terminated employee had been doing.

A further precondition is that the employee is still a jobseeker with the TE Office. 
The extended take-back obligation concerns those employees whose employment has been terminated in the period 1 April-31 December 2020.
 

Other collective agreements

  • Customer service and telemarketing collective agreement 
  • Bingo employees collective agreement 
  • Household appliances and equipment servicing and service machine sector collective agreement 
  • Golf sector collective agreement 
  • Private security sector collective agreement 
  • Finnish National Opera and Ballet technical small groups and technical supervisors and technical experts collective agreement 

The changes come into force on 1 April 2020. The changes are in force for the same period as the corresponding changes to legislation, but no longer than 31 December 2020. 

Lay-off notice period shortened 
An employer must give an employer a lay-off notice at least 5 (normally 14) days before the start of the lay-off. 

Time limits for co-operation negotiations shortened 
The minimum duration stipulated for negotiations is shortened, and lay-offs must be negotiated for at least 5 days (normally 14 days or 6 weeks). 

Take-back obligation extended 
An employer must offer work to an employee whose employment has been terminated for financial and production reasons, if the employer needs employees within 9 months (normally 4 or 6) of the end of the employment relationship, for the same or similar duties that the terminated employee had been doing.

A further precondition is that the employee is still a jobseeker with the TE Office. 
The extended take-back obligation concerns those employees whose employment has been terminated in the period 1 April-31 December 2020.
 

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