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Last updated: 20.06.2023

Pay security – if your employer can not pay your wages

If your employer has gone bankrupt or can not pay you for some other reason, you can apply for pay security and get your unpaid wages. Pay security is based on the law.

Pay security means that the worker can get the wages and other pay in a situation where the employer can not pay them. You can apply for pay security if you are in an employment relationship. For one worker and one employer, the maximum pay security is EUR 19,000.

You can apply for pay security for all the wages and extra pay that you have not got: basic wages, extras, overtime pay and holiday compensation. Pay security is often applied for holiday compensation and final wages when the employer can not pay them.

When the employment relationship ends, you can also apply for pay security for the wages you can get for a six-day waiting period that is set out in the law. However, the wages for the waiting period can not be higher than the other sum that you apply for.

Read more about final wages in How are the wages, holiday pay and holiday bonus paid?

You must apply for pay security within three months

If you have not got your wages or part of them, you must be quick to react. Your employer may have financial difficulties.

You must apply for pay security before three months have passed after you should have got your wages. This means that you must send the application no later than three months after the pay day when you should have got your wages but did not get them because the employer was not able to pay you.

You can only get pay security if the employer is really not able to pay you. The authorities will investigate this. 

To get pay security, you must know how much and why you need to be paid. You must say in the application which payments you have not got. The employer will also be asked for an opinion before the authorities decide about your pay security. 

The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre, ELY-keskus) manages pay security. The processing of pay security applications usually takes about six months. 

How do I apply for pay security?

ELY Centre recommends that you use the regional administration’s electronic service (at the moment only available in Finnish) to send your pay security application. 

To send an application: 

  1. Select Palkkaturvahakemuspalvelut (Pay security services).
  2. Log in to the service (Kirjaudu sisään). You need strong authentication, for example bank ID.
  3. Fill in the application carefully. Fill in the information for your employment relationship, the employer’s contact information, which payments you are applying for, and any other necessary information. Remember that you must send the application within three months of the day when you should have got the payment.
  4. Check that you have filled in the application correctly. If you have not given all the information, you will be asked for it. This may take more time.
  5. Send the application.

If you can not use the electronic service, print out an application for pay security on the ELY Centre website. Print out the application called “Application for pay security: Employee”, fill it in and send it by email to, or by post to the following address: Uudenmaan ELY-keskus / Palkkaturva, PL 54, 00521 Helsinki.

Faster pay security process in case of bankruptcy

The bankruptcy estate can apply for pay security for any unpaid wages when the estate administrator has verified, together with the pay security authority, that the wages can be covered by the pay security. The application must have the support of the ELY Centre.

The bankruptcy estate will then apply for the wages of all workers in one application. Payslips and a summary of the claimed sum must be attached to the application.

The worker is always responsible for making sure that a pay security application has been sent. If the bankruptcy estate administrator doesn’t file a pay security application for the workers’ wages, each worker must do it for himself or herself.

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