The grey economy
Agreement with a foreign company
Agreement with a foreign company - alasivu
Contractors must obtain the required reports also on foreign partners, when the work is performed in Finland, completely or in part. Contractors must obtain the same reports for foreign partners from the contracting partner’s country of origin that they would for a Finnish partner. The contractor must ensure that the content of reports received from abroad is understood. If necessary, the documents must be translated into a language that the contractor understands.
If a foreign company has a registered Finnish business ID at the time when the agreement is signed, the contractor must obtain reports on tax register entries and tax status both from the home country of the company and in Finland.
A foreign employer must provide its posted workers in Finland with occupational health care services complying with the Finnish Occupational Health Care Act. Occupational health care provided in the partner’s home country is not sufficient. The contractor must ensure that occupational health care services are provided in Finland.
The link below provides examples of clarifications concerning the obligation to check for companies registered abroad. The table includes summarised country-specific information on which certificate or report can be considered as an equivalent and reliable foreign account of the contractor’s compliance with the obligation to check. The information in the table has been collected by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
Examples of clarifications concerning the obligation to check for companies registered abroad: Compliance with the obligation to check under section 5 of the Act on the Contractor’s Obligations and Liability when Work is Contracted Out concerning companies registered abroad (pdf)
Report on pension and accident insurance for a foreign partner
If a foreign contracting partner sends posted workers to Finland, the contractor must, at the latest before they commence work, investigate and ascertain how the social security of the workers in question is determined. Reports on the determination of social security refer here to evidence of pension and accident insurance cover. Accounts must be obtained for the employees who first start their work in Finland. The contractor must also require in writing when concluding the contract that the contracting partner provides the certificates stating how the social security of the workers is determined also for the workers starting at a later date. In accordance with the Act on Posting Workers, the employer acting as the contracting partner is obligated to provide the contractor with certificates stating how the social security of the workers is determined also for the posted workers starting at a later date.
In contracts related to construction operations, the contractor must throughout the validity of the contract continuously check that all posted workers of the contracting partner have valid certificates stating how the social security of the workers in question is determined.
Posted worker from an EU or EEA Member State or Switzerland
The main principle is that all work done in Finland must be insured in Finland. This applies to both Finnish and foreign employers and to both Finnish and foreign employees. A derogation is made for foreign employees temporarily assigned to work in Finland. Posted workers may be subject to the social security legislation of their country of origin for the duration of their work in Finland. Evidence of belonging to the sphere of social security in the country of origin is provided with an A1 certificate of the posted worker.
The A1 certificate affirms that pension and accident insurance for the employee is taken out in the country of origin for the duration of the period shown on the certificate. During that period, the employee does not need to be insured as required by Finnish law. The certificate is employee-specific and valid for the duration recorded on the certificate.
Several countries issue A1 certificates electronically, in which case the certificate does not include the signature of the issuing authority or a stamp. In the enforcement of the contractor’s obligation to check, electronically issued A1 certificates from all countries are accepted.
If the contracting partner does not provide the posted worker’s certificates, the contractor must ensure that the contracting partner has taken out pension and accident insurance coverage for its employees in a Finnish insurance company.
Posted worker from a country with a bilateral agreement on social security
If an employee is posted to Finland from a country with which Finland has signed a bilateral agreement on social security (Australia, Chile, South Korea, India, Israel, Japan, Canada, China, Québec or the USA), the employee must have a posted worker’s certificate issued by the authorities in the country of origin (e.g. AUS 1/FI). If the contracting partner does not provide the posted worker’s certificates, the contractor must ensure that the contracting partner has taken out insurance coverage for its employees in Finland.
These certificates cover both pension and accident insurance in the country of origin only in the case of posted employees from Israel and Québec. In other cases, insurance pursuant to the Finnish Workers’ Compensation Act must always be taken out in Finland for workers posted from other countries with a bilateral social security agreement with Finland.
Posted workers from other countries
If a posted worker is sent to Finland from a country other than the above, e.g. Russia or Ukraine, accident insurance must be taken out as per Finnish legislation. The pension insurance requirements depend on the length of the posting:
- Posting lasting two years or less
For a posting lasting two years or less, a certificate of employment insurance as per the legislation of the country of origin and of up-to-date payment of pension insurance premiums is required.
- Posting lasting more than two years
For a posting lasting more than two years, a report on a decision by the Finnish Centre for Pensions granting exemption from the insurance obligation under the Employees Pensions Act, and a certificate of employment insurance as per the legislation of the country of origin and of up-to-date payment of pension insurance premiums is required, or a certificate from a Finnish employment insurance company from which insurance for employees of the partner has been taken out.
Further information on the obligation to take out pension insurance cover is provided by the Finnish Centre for Pensions and on the obligation to take out accident insurance, by the Workers' Compensation Centre.