Insights/15 Jun 2014

Four things about employment law

Should some employees be more loyal than others? When do employees have the right to participate in the company’s decision-making? Check out the tips from our specialists.

Text and photo Attorneys at law Borenius (Finland)

Terminating an employment contract after the employee turns 56 may be costly. As of this year, if the dismissed employee does not find a new job before retiring, the former employer may be obliged to pay as much as 90 percent of the unemployment benefit. The obligation only applies to medium-size and large companies. The change was made in order to promote the employment of seniors.

A recent decision by the Finnish Supreme Court confirms that the obligation for loyalty towards the employer is significantly more prominent in director-level positions than for the average employee. The case dealt with a company who terminated the contract of a director on production-related grounds after the director had refused to accept modifications to his contract. The Supreme Court stated that the company had the right to dismiss the director, and that the director had an emphasized obligation to be committed and loyal to the employer.

Employees have a right to participate in the decision making of large companies. This applies to decision-making in executive, supervisory, or advisory bodies of all Finnish companies with a regular staff of over 150 employees. If a Finnish group of companies employs more than 500 employees, the employees are entitled to choose a negotiating body that participates in discussions and is properly informed about matters affecting the group. Similar rights apply in the European Economic Area for companies or groups of companies with at least 1000 employees.

Again, the Finnish government underlines the importance of promoting equality. The government proposed an amendment to the Non-Discrimination Act obliging employers with a regular staff of at least 30 employees to write out a plan about ensuring equality at the workplace. Providers of goods and services, on the other hand, would have to consider the possible disabilities of their customers. Although it remains uncertain when the proposed legislation will take effect, companies should prepare for the additional obligations.

Introducing: Attorneys at law Borenius’ (Finland) Employment, Pension & Benefits practice

The employment law team of Attorneys at law Borenius is one of the largest in Finland. We have comprehensive experience in all sub-categories of employment law. Many well-known global and domestic entities in the private and public sectors rely on our advice on a daily basis. As an independent law firm, global law firms such as Baker & McKenzie, DLA Piper, Clifford Chance and Norton Rose Fulbright also prefer our services in matters related to the Finnish employment law.

In addition to investing in individual talents, we put a lot of effort into being a strong team. Our lawyers regularly speak at law seminars in Finland and abroad, and participate actively in both domestic and international employment law organisations.

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