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Last updated: 21.09.2023

Employment contracts should always be made in writing

An employment contract determines the terms of employment and the conditions of work, such as wages, supplements, working hours, holidays and the right to training.

By means of an employment contract, the worker and the employer agree on the conditions under which the worker will be employed. An employment contract is always an agreement between two parties. Your employment contract may be valid until further notice (permanent) or for a fixed term. 

Request a written employment contract and study it carefully 

Employment contracts should always be made in writing. Oral, written or electronic employment contracts are equally valid under the law. However, oral agreements always involve the problem that, over time, it may become difficult to remember what has been agreed, or the parties may remember things differently. 

You don’t have to sign an employment contract immediately. You should study the contract carefully before signing it. Ask the employer for time to study the employment contract. If anything remains unclear to you, contact PAM’s employment relationship hotline or ask someone you know for advice. 

In an employment contract, the terms of employment must not be inferior to what is specified in the collective agreement negotiated by the trade union or in the legislation concerning working life. For example, it is not possible to agree that evening work supplements or wages during a sickness absence will not be paid to the employee. 

However, an employment contract may include terms of employment that exceed the requirements of the collective agreement. You can check with your employer or union representative to find out what collective agreement is applied in your workplace. 

What should the employee take into account before signing an employment contract? 

You should read the employment contract carefully.  

It should include at least the following information: 

  • The name, personal identification code / Business ID and place of residence/business of the employee and the employer 
  • The validity period of the employment contract (until further notice or for a fixed term) 
  • The duration of the employment relationship and grounds for a fixed-term contract 
  • Working time 
  • Tasks 
  • Wages and the payment period 
  • Annual leave 
  • Notice period 
  • The applicable collective agreement 
  • Date and signature 

Pay special attention to what has been agreed on the minimum working time. Zero-hour contracts are not possible in the service sector. An employment contract must always specify the average minimum working time.  
Read more about zero-hour contracts and on-demand workers.

Employment contract templates for the service industry 

Below you will find templates for employment contracts. The contract must be made in two copies, one for the employee and one for the employer.  

Templates in English (pdf)

Templates for various sectors (in Finnish, pdf):

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