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Summer job checklist – best tips!

Do you have a summer job as a salesperson, waiter, kiosk worker, guard, cleaner, caretaker, amusement park worker or fast-food worker? PAM is your trade union. We’re here for you!

Special offer! PAM membership for summer workers for just 10 euros per month! The fixed-term summer job membership is meant for new members and student members who work in short-term employment during the summer season 1 June to 31 August 2024.

Last updated: 12.06.2024

We wish you a pleasant summer and a nice time at your summer job! We’ve complied a list of what’s good to know about employment and working life, and hope you find it useful.

As a full member of PAM, you will be provided with security and support during summer work and you will be eligible for member services. You will also be able to enjoy valuable member benefits such as the CityShoppari app free of charge for a full year. 

Special offer! PAM membership for summer workers for just 10 euros per month

Seize the opportunity and join PAM today!

The fixed-term summer job membership is meant for new members and student members who work in short-term employment during the summer season 1 June to 31 August 2024.

The 10 € membership fee gives you access to the union’s extensive member services and benefits as well as security in working life. The summer job membership even includes membership in the Unemployment fund. The calendar month you join is free.

Join as summer member

Welcome as a member!

Tips for summer job

Click on a heading in the table of contents below to read the tips!

  1. Job interview  
  2. Start of employment: employment contract, collective agreement, work shifts, orientation, tax card
  3. At work: wages, shift lists, breaks, illness, extra hours, safety at work, working when the temperature is high
  4. Problems in the workplace: general issues, where to get help 
  5. End of employment: reference, final pay, holidays 
  6. Other useful information for summer workers and young people: Earn as You Learn, workers aged under 18

The purpose of a job interview is to see what you are like as a person, assess your interaction skills and find out whether you are genuinely interested in the job you are applying for. See our tips for job interviews

Can the employer ask anything in the job interview? No, they cannot. The law sets boundaries an for employers’ in recruiting processes. Read more on what is and what is not allowed in job interviews

Once your employment relationship has started, you are entitled to the wages, working time and other terms of employment specified in the employment contract, as well as to a safe working environment. You also have the right to join a trade union. 

Always make a written employment contract 

Remember to always make and sign a written employment contract with your employer and request a copy for yourself. An employment contract determines the terms of employment and the conditions of work. In an employment contract, the terms of employment must never be inferior to what is specified in the sector-specific collective agreement. The duration of the employment relationship, as well as the wages, working time and tasks, must be recorded in the employment contract, among other aspects. Read more about employment contracts and what they must include. 

Collective agreement 

Check to ensure that the wages specified in your employment contract comply with the collective agreement. Read more about wages for young people and summer workers in different sectors. More information about other terms of employment can be found in collective agreements

Work shifts and shift lists 

You must be provided with a work shift list in good time. The shifts marked in the list may not be changed or cancelled without your consent. If changes are made to the work shift list, they should always be agreed on in writing. Keep a record of the work shifts you have completed. It is easier to check wages, supplements, overtime, extra hours and holiday compensation when you have them on record. 
Note! Rainy weather is not a valid reason to make changes to the work shift list without mutual agreement. 

The employer is not entitled to unilaterally make changes to the work shift list for example if the number of customers at an ice cream kiosk or a terrace is lower than usual because of rainy weather. A work shift marked in the shift list is an actual work shift, and wages will be paid to the employee for the shift. If the employer cancels a shift, the wages for that shift must still be paid to the employee. 


You are entitled to orientation and guidance for your tasks. Make sure that you are provided with sufficient orientation training to learn safe ways of working. All personnel groups have the right to orientation. This also applies to temporary agency workers, summer workers and seasonal workers. Proper instruction and guidance is important for safety, among other aspects. Read more about orientation to the work

Tax card 

Make sure that your employer receives your tax card. Your employer or another party making payments needs your tax card around two weeks before the next payment date. You can apply for a tax card by logging in to MyTax. 

Join PAM 

When you become a member of PAM, you will be able to enjoy the security provided by a membership and use services provided by the union if you have questions and need help with your employment relationship. You will also be assisted by your union representative in the workplace. PAM membership also includes membership of an unemployment fund, meaning that you will accumulate employment time for an earnings-related unemployment allowance in case you are made redundant. Each calendar week during which you work for at least 18 hours counts as a week for the employment requirement. Join PAM or read more about why you should join PAM.

You don’t need to navigate working life on your own. PAM provides services that help its members with matters related to employment relationships. 

Wages and their payment 

You must be paid appropriate wages for your work. Make sure that your wages are paid correctly to your account on the payment date. See how to read your pay slip
What wages should be paid to a person aged under 18? What is the hourly wage for an upper secondary student working in a cafe? Read more about wages for young people and summer workers in different sectors 

Work shift list 

The work shift list must be provided in writing to the employees in good time, and no later than a week before the start of the work shift period. Changes to the work shift list may only be made with the mutual consent of the employee and the employer.


If you are unable to work because of illness or an accident, you have the right to take sick leave. Illness is not a reason to terminate the employment relationship. If you are unable to work because of illness or an accident, you are entitled to paid sick leave. Read more about sick leave.  

Extra hours 

Extra hours are work (hours, shifts) completed by a part-time employee for the same employer in addition to the working time specified in the employment contract. The employer must offer extra hours primarily to its existing employees before hiring new workers. Read more about part-time employees and extra hours.  


Every worker is entitled to healthy and safe working conditions. Summer workers are also entitled to take breaks during the working day.  

  • The right to a lunch break depends on the duration of the work shift. Check your collective agreement for details. For the employee to be entitled to a lunch break, the work shift usually needs to last for more than six or seven hours.  
  • The duration of a coffee break is specified in the collective agreement.  
  • You have the right to go to the bathroom at other times, too. You don’t have to wait until the coffee or lunch break.

You are entitled to additional breaks in hot working conditions and when the temperature is high in the summer. Read more about breaks  

If you are under 18, there are special working time regulations in law. Read more about terms of employment for persons under 18

Problems may sometimes emerge in the workplace or in your employment relationship. An atmosphere of fear or unfair treatment is not part of anyone’s employment relationship. 
Do you suspect that you are working in a place where  

  • The collective agreement or labour legislation is not followed 
  • The wages are too low
  • There is a lack of clarity about work shifts 
  • Breaks are not taken  
  • The working conditions are not safe 
  • You and your colleagues are not treated fairly 

Don’t try to manage on your own. Boldly address any issues.  

Your membership of PAM gives you security. Here at PAM, we want to help and support summer workers. As a PAM member, you will be assisted by your union representative at the workplace, and you can get help from PAM’s employment services hotline or through the eService. 

In matters related to safety, you can also turn to the occupational health and safety representative. 

Become a member 

When your employment ends, check to ensure that all the terms of employment have been fulfilled and that your final pay has been paid correctly. 


The employee is entitled to get a written reference concerning her or his employment relationship from the employer. The law says the employer must provide a reference for ten years after the end of the employment relationship.  

Annual leave or holiday compensation 

Summer workers are also entitled to annual leave or holiday compensation. Holiday compensation is paid if you are unable take leave, or even if you have not accumulated any days of annual leave.  Remember to check your holiday compensation on the payslip. Read more about earning annual holiday

Check your payslip 

If you suspect that your wages have been paid incorrectly or that supplements are missing, check your wages in the collective agreement. As a member, you can also contact PAM’s employment advice hotline by calling 030 100 625.  See how to read your payslip

Earn as You Learn (Tutustu ja Tienaa) summer trainee programme 

Agreements on a separate Earn as You Learn summer trainee programme for schoolgoers have been made in several sectors. Read more about the Learn as You earn programme

Are you a young worker aged under 18? Read more about special regulations concerning you

Starting a summer job in a service sector? – Here are 5 things all summer workers should know

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Eyeing a summer job in the service sector and have an interview ahead? Check out these tips for the job interview

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What’s important for summer workers to know about shifts?

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Summer job over? Remember these three things as your job ends

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