Changes to labour legislation in 2022 – what they mean for employers

In August 2022, changes to Finnish labour legislation have been introduced. The changes will largely only affect employers. If you are recruiting soon, or employ workers on variable hours or on a zero-hours contract, read this article.

The Collective Bargaining Directive has been clarified

In addition to the current matters, the contracts must specify the conditions more precisely. You know that employers must meet their obligations as defined by the law, or they could face a fine. Here are the changes that employers should know about after the reform.

The terms and conditions of employment, which must be communicated to the employee either in the employment contract or separately in writing:


  • Employee must be informed if he or she is entitled to training under a law, collective agreement or employer practice.
  • Employee must be informed of the insurance institution where pension cover and insurance against accidents at work and occupational diseases are provided.
  • Employee must be given an explanation of the principles according to which the employee works at different workplaces or can determine his/her own place of work if there is no permanent main place of work.
  • If the contract provides for variable working hours between a minimum and a maximum, such as 0-40 hours per week, the employee must be informed of the days and times of the week when the employer can require the employee to work. As an employer, you cannot schedule shifts outside these reference periods without the employee's consent.
  • The information to be provided on temporary agency work or work abroad has been clarified. 
  • Essential information about the employment relationship must be provided within one week of the person starting.
  • Employee must also be informed of the terms and conditions of employment for fixed-term contracts of less than one month. No statement is required if the average working time is three hours or less per week for four consecutive weeks.

Note.: Employers must inform employees working variable hours of the reference working time referred to above within three months of the Act's entry into force on 1.8.2022, even if the employment contract was concluded before the Act entered into force. The information must be provided no later than 31.10.2022. For other information, the employer does not need to complete old employment contracts.

Changes to variable working hours contracts

A variable working time contract can be used at the initiative of the employer only if the employer's labour needs are not permanent. The employer may not, on its own initiative, agree to a minimum working time that is less than the workforce needs. In addition:


  • Employer has an automatic obligation to assess the implementation of the working time condition at least every 12 months. This obligation applies to all variable working time agreements concluded at the initiative of the employer.
  • The review must assess whether the actual working time and the employer's labour needs can be set at a higher level. If so, the employer has one month to offer the employee a new working time contract. The employee may, if he/she so wishes, refuse the new working time conditions.
  • Employer must, on its own initiative, notify the date of the review and, on request, provide a written explanation of the outcome and the reasons for it.
  • Employer is obliged to pay the employee reasonable compensation for a shift cancelled in accordance with the law or a collective agreement if the employee cancels it less than 48 hours before the start of the shift. The obligation to pay reasonable compensation arises only if the shift is cancelled entirely and no compensation is paid for the cancellation on the basis of the law, the collective agreement or the binding nature of the shift.

The rights of part-time and temporary workers to be informed have been improved

  • Employer is obliged to give a reasoned reply to a part-time or temporary worker when the worker requests an extension of the duration of the contract. The content of the reply is not specified in detail, so the employer fulfils this obligation by explaining why the working time or temporary contract can or cannot be extended.
  • The reply must be given in writing within three months of the request if the employer regularly employs up to 250 workers. If the number of employees exceeds this, a written statement must be provided within six months of the request.
  • There is no obligation to reply in writing if the employee has worked for the employer for less than 6 months or less than 12 months since the employee's last request.

Lue lakityösopimuslain muuttamisesta. Suosittelemme lukemaan myös Employment Contracts Act uutta työntekijää palkatessa. Tarvittaessa voit kysyä konsultointia asiantuntevasta tilitoimistosta. Työaikalain voit lukea here.

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