Edited: 13.02.2015 - 08:31

Keywords: Working life

Temporary agency work

In temporary agency work, an employer hires out workers to work for another employer. The company that needs workforce signs a contract with the agency that hires out workers. Temporary agency work always involves three parties: the employee, the temporary work agency and the user company, that is, the company using the workforce in question.

Who is your employer, who supervises your work?

In this line of work, the temporary work agency is the employer of the workers that it hires out.

An employee signs an employment contract with the temporary work agency and he/she does not have an employment relationship or any other contractual relationship with the company who has hired the employee from the agency. The agency is the only one who can terminate or cancel the employment contract.

The company that hires an employee from the agency (i.e. the user company) manages and supervises the work of the employee. The temporary work agency is responsible for all the other employer’s obligations as stated in Finnish labour laws (such as payment of salary).

What should you know as a temporary agency worker?

  • You should have a written employment contract (even for a short-term job) with the temporary work agency.
  • Find out the duration of employment, and if that information cannot be given, find out how the employment ends.
  • See to it that you receive induction into your work. A temporary worker should also receive induction – both into the work and into health and safety at work.
  • Find out about your occupational health care.
  • Find out about the shop steward and the occupational safety representative at the workplace.
  • Write down all the work shifts you have done and your workplaces – save the information.
  • Always check your payslip.

More information for employee representatives

What does the law tell us?

The user company must take care of the safety and welfare of temporary agency workers in the same way as for their own employees. 

The Employment Contracts Act

Management and supervision of work

When an employer transfers a worker according to his/her will to the use of another employer, the right to manage and supervise work is also transferred to the user company. In addition, employer's obligations that are directly related to the work and its arrangements are also transferred simultaneously. The user company is obliged to provide the worker's employer with information, which is needed in order for the employer to fill his/her obligations.  

Working conditions

If no collective agreement is binding to the employer hiring out workforce (i.e. an agency), the collective agreement for the company using temporary work force should be applied. 

As from 1 January 2009, the employer is obliged to provide the temporary agency worker with a written clarification on the central working conditions. This applies also in temporary employment relationships that last for under one month, if the worker specifically asks for a clarification from the agency.  

Employee transfer to the service of the user company after temporary agency work

If the employee is hired by the user company after the end of the temporary agency work, and he/she has similar duties as before, the maximum duration of the trial period is reduced by the time the employee has worked as a temporary worker in the user company. 

Occupational Safety and Health Act

Obligation to follow the rules on occupational safety and health

A company using temporary work force is obliged to follow the rules that according to the Occupational Safety and Health Act apply to employers.

The information obligation of the user company

Before the work is started, the company using temporary work force has to notify the agency on the required skills and other special requirements related to the work in question. The employer has to make sure that the worker has the required skills and he/she is suited for the job.  

Responsibility for orientation in the user company 

The company using temporary agency work should take care of the orientation of the worker. 

Notifications to the occupational health care and the health and safety representative

According to paragraph 4, which came into force on 1 January 2009, the company using the work force should notify the occupational health care as well as the concerned health and safety representative at the workplace on the start of the work.  

Law on monitoring work health and safety

According to the law on monitoring work health and safety, before the start of the business, the concerned health and safety authorities should be notified on the use of temporary professional work force.

Relevant information