Employment Update, Finland – February 2009

19 February 2009

Maisa Nikkola


Changes in status of temporary agency workers and trial periods


At the beginning of 2009, new legislation regarding temporary agency workers came into force in Finland.  In addition, the Ministry of Employment and Economy published guidelines in relation to agency work. These guidelines have been prepared in co-ordination with labour market organisations.

New legislation

Under Section 4 of the Finnish Employment Contract Act there are new provisions regarding temporary agency workers. If a company decides to hire a temporary agency worker permanently, his previous work with the company is taken into account in respect of his trial period.

When deciding on the length of a trial period, any previous period of work must be deducted from the length of the trial period.  This deduction should only be applied if the work is the same or similar as that carried out during their time as a temporary agency worker. Where the permanent role is in relation to work which is different to that carried out as a temporary agency worker, no reduction is needed and the employer and employee can agree on a full-length trial period.

Effect on employers

This provision aims to clarify and benefit temporary agency workers.