If the employer arranges accommodation for a posted worker during their work in Finland, the accommodation must meet the requirements of the Health Protection Act concerning housing conditions. In addition, the employer must comply with the provisions of the collective agreement applicable to the work on housing and accommodation conditions when the collective agreement contains provisions on living conditions.
Quality requirement for accommodation conditions
The obligations regarding accommodation only apply to accommodation conditions, i.e. the quality of accommodation, but not to the employer's obligation to arrange accommodation for the worker they are posting.
Companies posting workers are already required to comply with Finnish legislation with their posted workers regarding the requirements of accommodation rooms or apartments as set forth in the legislation and regulations of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry of the Environment. What is new is the application of the provisions on accommodation conditions in the collective agreement applicable to the work.
The qualitative requirements for accommodation conditions apply to posted workers in the same way as to local workers in order to promote equal treatment, where such provisions are laid down in national law, practice or collective agreements.
Quality of accommodation conditions
The health requirements of apartments and other living environments and the health hazards occurring in apartments and other living environments are laid down in the Health Protection Act.
The Health Protection Regulation lays down the health conditions of apartments and other living environments.
The regulation of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health lays down provisions on the health requirements of apartments and other living environments and they also apply to posted workers. The regulation lays down the number of persons allowed in an apartment or other living environment. The regulation also lays down physical, chemical and biological requirements for living conditions.
According to the regulation of the Ministry of the Environment on housing, accommodation and work premises
- the room area of the housing, accommodation and work premises must always be at least 7 square metres;
- room height must be at least 2.5 metres, or 2.4 metres in a detached house;
- the light opening area of the window in housing and accommodation premises must be at least 1/10 of the room area;
- the placement of the window and other arrangements must ensure the brightness of the room, a view out of the room and the furnishings of the room;
- the floor area of the apartment must be at least 20 square meters;
- the premises and layout of the apartment must be appropriate for living purposes with regard to the intended number of residents, the common spaces of the apartment and the changes in the needs of use;
- the apartment must have facilities suitable for activities with regard to rest, recreation and leisure, dining and cooking, hygiene care and the essential maintenance and storage related to housing;
- the apartment must have, or have access to, appropriate facilities for the maintenance and storage of clothing and personal items and for the storage of bicycles, prams and outdoor equipment;
- the premises must be equipped with the furniture, equipment and technical installations necessary for the use of the premises and
- the apartment must always have a toilet and adequate basic equipment for personal hygiene and cooking.
The occupational safety and health authority shall enforce the implementation of any provisions on accommodation conditions in the collective agreement applicable to the work. The occupational safety and health authority may also report to the health authorities any information received concerning a suspected health hazard in the accommodation conditions of posted workers.
The municipal health protection authority monitors any suspected health hazards. The authority takes the health hazard issue of an apartment under investigation when a resident or owner of an apartment initiates action in a suspected health hazard.
In order to prevent a health hazard, the municipal health protection authority may also temporarily limit the number of residents in the apartment or other living space.