General information on topic

Termination of the employment relationship is provided for in the Employment Contracts Act.

An indefinitely valid employment contract is usually terminated by either the employer or employee giving notice to terminate. The employee does not need to give any particular grounds for termination, but he/she is required to observe the period of notice. The employer, on the other hand, may not terminate an employment relationship without proper and weighty reason. The employer must also observe the period of notice.

A fixed-term employment contract expires without either party giving notice either when the agreed term ends or when the work agreed to be performed under the contract has been completed. Notice may be given to terminate a fixed-term employment contract only if the employer and employee agree that the contract may be terminated, either in a clause in the contract itself or during the employment relationship. 

Cancellation ends an employment relationship without a period of notice

The employer and employee may agree on a trial period at the beginning of the employment relationship, during which either party may cancel the employment relationship without notice. However, the employment relationship may not be cancelled even during the trial period on discriminatory grounds or grounds inappropriate in view of the purpose of the trial period. 

Except for the above, an employment contract may only be cancelled for an extremely weighty reason. Such a reason may be deemed to exist if either party commits such a serious breach or negligence of the terms of employment that the other party cannot reasonably be expected to continue the employment relationship even for the length of the period of notice.

The employer must consult the employee before cancelling the employment relationship

The other party must be notified of termination of the employment relationship in person. If this is not possible, the notification may be sent by mail or e-mail.

The employer must consult the employee before terminating the employment relationship If the employee so requests, the employer must without delay issue a written statement indicating the date when the employment relationship is to end and the grounds for termination known to him.

The employee must be given the opportunity to present his/her opinion in the matter. The employee is entitled to use an assistant.

 

Instructions for employee

A fixed-term employment contract may only be terminated if it has been agreed that this may be done.

As an employee on an indefinitely valid employment contract, you may give notice to terminate at any time. You are not required to give any grounds for giving notice, but you must observe the period of notice specified in the Employment Contracts Act and/or the collective agreement applicable to your work.

You may not give notice to terminate a fixed-term employment contract unless this has been agreed with the employer or if the term of the contract is more than five years. If you wish to terminate a fixed-term employment relationship, check whether it has been agreed in the employment contract that you may do so. If not, you may ask your employer whether he would agree to termination.

If you start in a new job, you may agree on a trial period when signing the employment contract. If the employment contract specifies a trial period, both you and your employer may cancel the contract without notice during the trial period. However, the employment relationship may not be cancelled on discriminatory grounds or grounds inappropriate in view of the purpose of the trial period. If no trial period has been agreed, there is no trial period.

The employee may cancel the employment relationship if the employer violates or neglects his responsibilities arising from the employment contract or the law in such a way as to have an essential impact on the employment relationship. Cancellation is only ever allowed for an extremely weighty reason. The employer may also cancel the employment relationship if there is an extremely weighty reason for doing so.

Procedure for resignation

Deliver your notice to terminate your employment relationship in person to the employer or the employer’s representative. If this is not possible, you may submit the notice by mail or electronically. In the latter case, notice is considered to have been received no later than seven days after it was sent.

You may also give notice to terminate your employment relationship verbally, but it is recommended to give notice in writing so that you can verify it afterwards if necessary.

You may use this occupational safety and health administration form to give notice:
Notice to terminate an employment relationship (pdf, in Finnish).

If your employer terminates your employment relationship

For your employer to terminate your employment relationship, he must have grounds acceptable by law for doing so. At your request, your employer must give you without delay a written statement indicating the date when the employment relationship is to end and the reasons on the basis of which it is to be terminated or cancelled.

Before your employment relationship is terminated, you must be given an opportunity to state your opinion of the grounds for termination. You are entitled to use an assistant in doing so.

You may request a written statement of the grounds for termination using this form:
Document request to employer (doc, in Finnish).

Final settlement paid on the end date of the employment relationship

The employer is required to pay the last wage payment or final settlement, including any holiday compensation due, on the end date of the employment relationship at the latest, unless otherwise agreed in the employment contract or the applicable collective agreement. If payment of the final settlement is delayed from what was agreed, you are entitled to receive full pay plus penalty interest for the period of delay, though not for more than six days.

In making payment, the employer must issue you a pay slip showing the amount of your wages and the basis on which they were calculated. The pay slip is issued so that you can check that your wages have been correctly paid. Your employer is required to pay you for work you have done even if the termination of your employment relationship is subject to dispute.
 

Instructions for employer

Unfounded termination of the employment relationship may lead to liability for compensation.

Before the employment relationship is terminated, the employee must be given an opportunity to state your opinion of the grounds for termination. The employee is entitled to use an assistant.

If the employee has neglected to perform duties arising from the employment contract, he/she may not be given notice before being issued a warning and given a chance to amend his/her conduct.

How should the employee be notified of terminating the employment relationship?

Notice to terminate the employment contract must be delivered to the employee in person. If this is not possible, the notice may be sent by mail or electronically. In the latter case, notice is considered to have been received no later than seven days after it was sent.

If the employer terminates the employment relationship of an employee who is currently on annual holiday or on leave of two weeks or more given for the purpose of adjustment of working hours, the notice to terminate sent by letter or e-mail is considered to have been delivered no earlier than the day following the end of the holiday or leave.

Notice to terminate the employment contract may be given verbally, but it is recommended to give it in writing so that the party giving notice can verify it afterwards if necessary.

If the employee so requests, the employer must without delay issue a written statement indicating the end date of the employment relationship and the grounds for termination or cancellation known to him on the basis of which the employment relationship is being terminated or cancelled. In order to avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary legal action, it is important to explain the grounds for termination or cancellation clearly and truthfully.

You may use this occupational safety and health administration form to give notice: Notice to terminate an employment relationship (pdf, in Finnish).

The final settlement must be paid on the last working day, unless otherwise agreed. At the end of the employment relationship, the employer is required to issue a certificate of employment if the employee so requests.

 

Legislation

Employment Contracts Act (55/2001)

  • Chapter 1 Section 4 Trial period
  • Chapter 2 Section 2 Prohibition of discrimination, and equal treatment
  • Chapter 6 General provisions on the termination of an employment contract
  • Chapter 7 Grounds for termination of the employment contract by means of notice
  • Chapter 8 Cancellation of the employment contract
  • Chapter 9 Procedure for terminating an employment contract

Act on Co-operation within Undertakings (334/2007)

  • Chapter 4 Section 20 Co-operation negotiations

Non-discrimination Act (1325/2014)