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Last updated: 21.06.2023

Work clothes and shoes in the service sector

Typically, the service sector’s collective agreements require employers to provide work clothes for their regular workers. Work shoes are not usually mentioned separately in collective agreements.

We have collected the rules of collective agreements regarding work clothes on this page. While work shoes are generally not mentioned separately in collective agreements, we have included some safety information below regarding work shoes.  

Work clothes in PAM’s collective agreements 

The collective agreements made by PAM state the following regarding uniforms: 

Commercial sector’s collective agreement 

  • Sales assistants: employers must provide regular sales assistants with a functional uniform. 
  • Warehouse workers: employers must provide regular warehouse workers with protective clothing or work clothes and gloves. 
  • Maintenance workers and service station workers: employers must provide service technicians, car washers, and underseal painters with protective clothing and safety shoes. 
  • Window dressers: employers must provide regular window dressers with a functional uniform. 

Property services sector’s collective agreement

Employers must provide their workers with work clothes, tools, and the materials required for work. 

Hotel, restaurant, and leisure industry’s collective agreement 

Work clothes must be tidy and appropriate. Employers must provide the following for workers: 

  • uniforms as required by law or official instructions 
  • work clothes if the employer has specific requirements regarding colour, fit, or uniformity, for example. 

Security services industry’s collective agreement 

Employers must purchase guard uniforms that meet the regulations of the Ministry of the Interior. Likewise, employers must purchase any and all accessories and equipment required for duties, excluding canines. 

Work shoes 

If work shoes (safety shoes) are required due to a risk of accidents, they are considered safety equipment. Employers are responsible for the full cost of safety equipment. Employers also have the right to require their workers to wear safety equipment. 

Employers are responsible for assessing the risk of accidents. If the employer lacks sufficient competence to assess risks, they must use verified external experts. (Occupational Safety and Health Act (pdf) (738/2002), section 10.) The occupational health service is often the most accessible external expert. Regardless of the use of external expertise, the occupational health service will assess the need for safety shoes, among other things, in the workplace survey. 

The workplace survey report may mention good ergonomic footwear required to promote well-being at work. The report will usually state clearly whether it is making a recommendation (to help workers who must stand) or if it is requiring the employer to procure something to prevent accidents. 

In industries where accidents are common, the employers usually take good care to arrange the proper equipment, including safety shoes. Employers may face heavy fines for accidents if they are deemed to have neglected or violated their responsibilities. 

Safety shoes and other safety equipment must fit the user. It is very unlikely that everyone can use the same model of safety shoe. 

Employers are of course free to provide their employers with work shoes even when they are not required due to a risk of accidents. In this case, the employer may only pay part of the shoes’ price. For clarity: employers cannot require workers to buy shoes and also pay a portion of the price. 

See also