Foreign employee - Yleistä

 

General information on topic

A foreign employee must have the right to work in Finland.

A foreign employee must have the right to work in Finland. The grounds for the right to work depend on the citizenship of the foreign employee, what work he/she is to perform in Finland and for how long a period.

Citizens of the Nordic countries, Member States of the EU, Liechtenstein and Switzerland do not need to apply for a residence permit in order to work in Finland. They have the right to work in Finland on the grounds of their citizenship.

Employees who are not citizens of any of the aforementioned countries generally need a residence permit for an employed person or another kind of residence permit allowing for paid employment.

The Aliens Act lists a number of scenarios where employment in Finland is allowed without a residence permit for an employed person.

The right to work must be verified

The employer is required to ensure that foreign employees have a residence permit entitling them to work in Finland. The employer is also required to keep a record of foreign employees and the grounds for their right to work. The employer must further provide such information for the employment and economic development office (TE Services) and the personnel representative at the workplace.

The Aliens Act also requires the main contractor or commissioner operating in Finland to ensure that employees working for a foreign employer have the right to work if they work for a contractor or subcontractor or as leased labour.

Separate legislation for posted workers

A posted worker is an employee sent by a foreign company to Finland to perform work on a temporary basis. The minimum terms and conditions of employment and working conditions for workers posted to Finland are provided for in the Posted Workers Act.

Foreign employee - Työntekijälle

 

Instructions for employee

Employees are required to prove their right to work to the employer.

If you are not a Finnish citizen, the Aliens Act requires you to prove to your employer that you have the right to work in Finland. You must present to your employer your passport, official travel document or residence permit card.

The employer will generally make a copy of the document verifying your right to work, because he is required by law to keep that information at the workplace.

Residence of an EU citizen to be registered at the Finnish Immigration Service

If you have the citizenship of an EU Member State, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you do not need to apply for a Finnish residence permit. However, if your stay in Finland lasts for more than three months, you must register your residence. Go to the Finnish Immigration Service's service point to register.

If you are not a citizen of any of the aforementioned countries, your right to work in Finland must be based on Finnish law. If you need a residence permit, you must apply for one yourself. If you work in Finland without the right to do so, you could be committing a violation or a criminal offence.

If there is any change in your right of residence or any of the grounds for your right to work, you must inform your employer immediately. If your residence permit is about to expire, you must submit an application for a new residence permit while the old one is still valid. Give your employer a copy of the receipt of your pending application and then give him a copy of your new residence permit as soon as you receive it.

Further information: Working in Finland. Finnish Immigration Service.

Terms and conditions of employment and occupational safety

You are entitled to the same statutory terms of employment as Finnish workers. If there is anything unclear about your pay, working hours or any other terms and conditions of employment, talk to your employer first. When your employment relationship ends, your employer will not provide a certificate of employment automatically; you must request it. You may use this form (doc, in Finnish): Document request to employer.

Safety at work is the responsibility of the employer, but you as the employee also have responsibilities. If the work causes a serious hazard to your life or health or that of other employees, you have the right to refuse to perform that work.

Foreign employee - Työnantajalle

 

Instructions for employer

Information on foreign employees and the grounds for their right to work must be kept at the workplace.

Under the Aliens Act, an employer with foreign employees must:

  • ensure that an alien entering his or her service and working in his or her employment has the required residence permit for an employed person or that the alien does not need a residence permit (Aliens Act, section 86a), and
  • keep the information on the aliens in his or her employment and on the grounds for their right to work easily available at the workplace (Aliens Act, section 86a).

The information that the employer must keep at the workplace must include:

  • the personal data of the foreign employee, and
  • the grounds for the foreign employee’s right to work.

The employer shall store the information for four years beyond the termination of the alien’s employment. The employer may choose how to store this information, but it must be easily available for inspection by the occupational safety and health authorities.

While clients who use posted workers generally have the same obligations as other employers under section 86a of the Finnish Aliens Act, they are exempt from the obligation to keep records. They must, however, be able to present evidence of the workers’ right to work in Finland.

Information to be supplied to TE Services

The Finnish Aliens Act obligates employers not only to check that all foreign workers of theirs have a right to work in Finland and keep evidence of these checks but also to

  • inform the shop steward, the elected representative and the occupational safety and health representative of such workers’ names and the applicable collective agreement and
  • supply their local TE Office with the following information, if they employ individuals who are not EU/EEA citizens or family members of EU/EEA citizens:
    • information on the principal terms of employment applicable to the work and
    • a declaration of the terms’ complying with the law and the applicable collective agreement. In the absence of a collective agreement, the terms of employment must correspond to those of other workers performing similar work in the labour market.

The principal terms and conditions of employment include at least the following:

  • the date of commencement of the work
  • the trial period
  • the place where the work is performed
  • job duties
  • the collective agreement applicable to the work
  • grounds for determination of wages
  • amount of wages
  • the pay period
  • regular working hours
  • the manner of determining annual holiday
  • the terms and conditions concerning the period of notice.

In case of a fixed-term employment relationship, the grounds for concluding an employment contract for a fixed term and the actual or estimated expiry date of the employment contract must also be recorded.

The employment and economic development office (TE Services) must be notified of any employees from outside the EU.

The aforementioned information and declaration must be supplied to TE Services without undue delay (within one week). The information can be supplied in any format (e.g. by enclosing a copy of the employment contract) or by using the worker’s residence permit application appendix template (TEM054) available on TE Services’ website. Alternatively, the information can be provided via the Enter Finland portal. 

Further information and form: Employer’s duty to provide information about foreign workers. TE Services.
Enter Finland -service: Enter Finland.

Occupational safety and health authorities have a legal duty to notify the police if an employer neglects to provide the information. The use of illegal foreign labour is a punishable offence. For more information, see Grey economy > Right to work in Finland.

Forms from the occupational safety and health authorities

Forms (in Finnish) for recording the right to work and the minimum terms and conditions of employment are available from the occupational safety and health authorities:

Finnish occupational safety regulations must be followed

The employer must ensure that the workplace is compliant with Finnish occupational safety regulations as regards its working conditions. Among other things, the employer must ensure that the work environment and tools are safe and that foreign employees are provided with sufficient training and guidance for their job duties in a language that they can understand.