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Commercial sector`s collective agreement

Updated: 12.03.2021

The collective agreement for employees in the commercial sector sets minimum working conditions for work in the retail sector such as pay, working time bonuses, working hours and holidays. For example wages should not fall below the minimum wages negotiated by PAM in the collective agreement. It is good to keep in mind that you cannot conclude an individual employment contract on weaker terms and conditions than those agreed upon in the collective agreement.

The agreement is between PAM, for the employees, and the Finnish Commerce Federation, for the employers.


Negotiating parties
Service Union United PAM and the Finnish Commerce Federation
Agreement period: 1.2.2020-31.1.2022

The commercial collective agreement sets the minimum standards to be applied in the commercial sector, such as pay, working time, sick pay, midweek public holiday compensation etc. The conditions are minimum conditions that employers must apply to all their employees.

The commercial collective agreement is applied in companies operating in retail trade, wholesale trade, agency activities, kiosk trade, service station activities, retail service and support activities or machinery rental. The agreement applies to employees covered by the Working Hours Act.

As well as the commercial collective agreement, the agreement reached in the retail sector covers the collective agreement protocol for IT employees (hereinafter the retail IT employees’ collective agreement protocol), the collective agreement protocol for Hankkija-Maatalous sales staff, the warehouse and transport supervisors’ collective agreement and the retail supervisors’ collective agreement.


The new collective agreement for the period 1.2.2020 - 31.1.2022 

Note! Due to the corona pandemic, temporary changes has been made in working conditions and labor legislation in 2020. The extension of the so-called readmission obligation for those laid off for production and economic reasons from 1 April to 31 December 2020 will continue to have an impact. Read more about the readmission obligation (in Finnish).


Below are links to documents followed by a summary of the changes to the texts (in finnish).

Changes to the commercial sector collective agreement

Changes to the commercial supervisors’ collective agreement

Work experience agreement



What is new compared to the previous collective agreement?


Pay scales 1.4.2020

Pay scales 1.4.2021

  • On 1.4.2020 the pay scales and personal pay of workers, clerical employees and supervisors will increase by 2.0%.
  • On 1.4.2021 the pay scales and personal pay of workers, clerical employees and supervisors will increase by 1.3 %.
  • Working time bonuses will not increase during the agreement period.
  • A single increase of 3.3% will be made to payments to shop stewards and occupational safety and health representatives from 1.4.2020

Table Shop steward payments 

What else is new compared to the previous agreement? 


The changes to the texts will come into force on 1.4.2020 unless stated otherwise.

Competitiveness pact

PAM’s objective was to do away with the free working hours introduced in the competitiveness pact of 2016. We succeeded in this.

  • In the annual leave system the competitiveness pact was removed by adjusting the earning stages in the annual leave system and the number annual days off. In future the maximum number of annual days off will be 9 instead of the present 7.
  • The midweek public holiday system remains an alternative to the annual leave system. Employers can decide whether to introduce it. The working time of full-time employers in midweek public holiday systems was reduced from the previous 38 hours to 37.5 hours. 
  • The changes to annual leave and the midweek public holiday system will only come into force on 1.1.2021.

Working hours that you can live on

PAM was looking for changes that would allow more employees who are currently part-time to get more working hours. This would improve incomes.

The new flexible full-time work model gives more employees the possibility to get full-time work.

  • Flexible full-time work is agreed locally between the employee and the employer. In the system full monthly pay is paid to an employee working less than 37.5 hours. The employee commits to taking so-called flex hours in addition to the hours marked in the shift list such that their total hours are equivalent to full-time work. The shift list must contain at least 22.5 hours per week and flex hours must be notified at least 24 hours before the shift starts. The employee can refuse the hours, for example if time off has been agreed with them.

Shop stewards’ access rights to information improve and the following must be reviewed with them

  • the structure and trend of staff working less than 37.5 hours and an estimate of the trend by region, operating location or other appropriate unit from the employer’s point of view
  • the number of employment contract hours and actual working hours and the ratio of these and an estimate of the trend of these by region, operating location  or other appropriate unit from the employer’s point of view 
  • details of other possible measures designed to increase working on full-time on almost full-time working hours. 
  • the point of the review is to promote the obligation to offer extra work and implementation of section 6 of the collective agreement. 

Status of external labour

PAM’s objective: Companies should be more committed to their employees and therefore the status of external labour should be improved

A joint working group will be set up between PAM and the Finnish Commerce Federation to discuss the ways in which labour is used and related requirements from the point of view of companies’ activities and employees’ needs.

The following was entered in the collective agreement

  • the right of a shop steward to represent agency workers working in a company in settling disputes as provided for in the Contractor’s Liability Act
  • the right of a shop steward to request and receive notification of agreements made for agency work or subcontracting as provided for in the Contractor’s Liability Act. Such notification must clarify the reason for using agency labour, the amount of labour to be used, specification of the company, location of the work, work duties, duration of the contract and the collective agreement or key working conditions to be applied.


Other key changes

Trial period

The maximum length of a trial period will lengthen from the current 4 months to the 6 months permitted in law


  • Longer daily rest. The daily rest between shifts remains at 11 hours.
  • Employees in individual workplaces can agree to reduce daily rest to 8 hours instead of the previous 7 hours. One-off 7-hour daily rest may be agreed with an employee.
  • Shorter work stretches. The maximum number of working days between days off is 8 instead of the current 9 working days. However, an individual workplace can agree 10 consecutive working days without a day off. 11 working days can be agreed with an employee on a one-off basis.
    The maximum of 8 working days also applies to warehouse workers. For warehouse workers, however, an individual workplace can still agree a maximum of 12 consecutive working days.
  • Days off in averaging periods clarified. During an averaging period there must be at least as many days off as in the collective agreement as there are weeks in the period. This means for example that in a 4-week averaging period there must be 4*2 i.e. 8 days off (weekly rest day and day off under the collective agreement).
  • The retail supervisors’ negotiating organisation and the Finnish Commerce Federation will implement a project to promote wellbeing and coping at work and personal work management during 2020 and 2021.
  • Office employees’ days off are fixed days off and if possible Saturdays. However, the stipulation of a fixed office work day off does not have to be complied with if there is a legitimate reason due to the company’s business activity.
  • In future office employees must be given only two days off on the eve of a public holiday per year similarly as for sales staff if there is a legitimate reason due to the company’s business activity.


Obtaining shift lists

  • In future shift lists are to be announced at least 2 weeks before the start of the working week.
  • If an averaging period is 19 weeks or more, the shift list must be announced 3 weeks before the start of the working week. The previous three-week notification period was for averaging periods of 9 weeks or more.
  • In future individual workplaces can agree also for these long averaging periods that the shift list is announced at least one week before the start of the working week. If there is a shop steward at the workplace, this can be agreed with them. If there is no shop steward, agreement on a one-week notification period is to be made with the relevant personnel group. 


Accidents at work

If an employee is incapacitated due to an accident at work, they are entitled to 4 weeks’ paid leave irrespective of the length of the employment relationship. Previously the paid period was shorter than this for employment relationships of less than 3 months, also in the case of an accident at work.


Individual workplaces can agree on an alternative arrangement to the employer providing workwear. 

Other changes:

Office employees and wholesale sales staff can agree on a notice period for termination of employment for both parties of 1 month. If the notice period is longer for the employer in the employment contract, the employer must comply with it.


Other clarifications made to the following

  • when contract working hours are to be increased
  • what employees are covered by possible 27–52-week averaging periods
  • on-call duty and emergency work
  • review of maximum working time
  • the right to be paid during a dental appointment
  • payment of additional days off under the Annual Holidays Act 


To be implemented later

  • The PAM-Finnish Commerce Federation working group on pay systems will continue its work.
  • PAM and the Finnish Commerce Federation will draw up guidelines on bullying and sexual harassment with examples. The purpose is to assist workplaces in drawing up these types of guidelines.
  • The PAM-Finnish Commerce Federation joint training policy working group will examine the development of vocational skills.
  • The organisations will also set up a working group to assess employees’ coping at work and ergonomic and working community-based shift planning. The working group will also look at trial models of shift planning to enable working on full-time hours 
  • Agreement reached on a summer work experience programme for 2020 and 2021.


Shop steward system

Companies with nationwide operations or over 800 employees must negotiate on a shop steward organisation so as to increase local interaction. The collective agreement defines a minimum of matters to be discussed.

  • Agreement on the organisation is to be in writing.
  • If no consensus is reached on the organisation, the social partners can consider it if either party so requests. 

The working hours of a shop steward who works part-time are to be raised for the period of the shop steward position to at least the number of hours defined in the table for the release period for shop stewards. 


Changes affecting supervisors

Meal break

  • By local agreement, meal breaks can be shortened by 30 minutes or removed completely, and the employee may eat during working time
  • Persons are to agree on this with their supervisors

Shift list

  • When a shift list is drawn up, the supervisor is to be given the opportunity is express their opinion on the length and placing of shifts and days off and annual holidays granted

Discussion on coping

  • Discussions to be held on supervisors’ coping at work, work-related stress factors and if necessary further steps at the end of pay discussions or at another time at the workplace.


Key provisions of the collective agreement for the commercial sector in different languages:

In Finnish

In Swedish

In English

In Russian

In Estonian language


Read more

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