In Finland, the same employment terms, occupational safety requirements and statutory insurance apply to foreign and Finnish employees. Employment terms forbid discrimination based on nationality.
As an employer, you should find out if a foreign employee requires an employee’s residence permit or other permit to work in Finland before hiring him/her. The permit must be acquired before arrival in Finland. For further information on the subject, please see the section Employee’s residence permit and registration.
Keep any information concerning foreign employees available for four years after the employment period has ended. This information must be accessible to occupational safety authorities for review at the workplace as needed.
Work contract and wages
You should prepare a work contract preferably in writing, as you are in any event liable to provide the employee with a written account of the central terms of the work by the end of the first wage payment period. An account of the central employment terms must be submitted to the TE Office without delay, unless the employee concerned is an EU/EEA citizen.
The work contract must include:
the duration of employment
wages to be paid
whether employment is valid until further notice or fixed-term.
Be especially careful to establish the wages, working hours and overtime issues with a foreign employee, as the practices in the employee’s home country may differ significantly from the terms of employment in Finland. Foreign employees must be paid wages that are at least compliant with collective labour agreements.
As an employer, you must ensure that an employee receives sufficient induction training and guidance for his/her work tasks.
The minimum employment terms for employees posted in Finland have been provided for separately. For more detailed information on the subject, see the section Posted worker.
The same statutory insurance policies apply to foreign employees as to employees residing permanently in Finland.
As an employer, you must ensure that the following insurance policies concerning foreign employees are taken care of:
earnings-related pension contributions and accident insurance contributions
unemployment insurance contribution
the social security contributions paid by the employer, if a foreigner works in your company for over four months.
Arranging Occupational Health Care
As an employer, you are also obligated to arrange occupational health care services for your foreign employees. If the employees work in circumstances involving special risks of falling ill, regular medical examinations should be arranged for them. Further information on the subject is available in the section Occupational Health Care.
If a period of employment lasts for over six months, a foreign employee requires a tax card similarly to any employees living permanently in Finland. Advise your employee to apply for a tax card on the website of the Finnish Tax Administration (Form 5042a).
If a period of employment lasts for less than six months, a foreign employee is subject to limited tax liability in Finland. In this case, a total of 35 per cent will be collected as tax-at-source from his/her wages, and the employee will need a tax-at-source card. Tax-at-source cards can be applied for on the website of the Finnish Tax Administration (Application for tax-at-source card 5057). An employee shall apply for a tax-at-source card him-/herself, or the employer can submit an application on the employee’s behalf.
From 1 January 2014, progressive taxation can be applied to the earned income of taxpayers subject to limited liability to pay tax. If an employee prefers progressive taxation, he or she must enclose an application for progressive taxation (form 6148) with the application for the tax-at-source card.
A foreign employee can obtain a Finnish personal ID from the Local Register Office or the tax office. Further information on the taxation of a person arriving from abroad to work in Finland, and on applying for a personal ID, is available on the website of the Finnish Tax Administration.
An employee can apply for Finnish health insurance and is eligible for a Kela card if
he/she has a work contract for at least four months
he/she works at least 18 hours per week
he wage is in accordance with the applicable collective labour agreement, meaning the work fulfils the minimum terms of employment as outlined in the Unemployment Security Act.