The SAK employee rights hotline advises young employees and employees of foreign origin with questions or problems concerning their employment. This free service is open to all and does not require trade union membership.
The employee rights hotline responds between 2 and 5 p.m. on Mondays, and between 9 and 11 a.m. and 12 and 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Advice is available in English and in Finnish.
We will not contact your employer on your behalf. You should turn to the trade union for your industry in such cases. We recommend joining such a union. Use the Tradeunion.fi website to find the right union.
A union can assist you if your problem is so difficult that it requires legal action. You can also hire your own lawyer to handle the case.
If you have any problems with your employer relating to, for example, your pay or other employment terms and conditions or the terms of your collective agreement, try to discuss the matter with your employer first. Many issues are solved by communication.
If the problem is not solved, ask for help and advice:
If you are a trade union member
Talk to your shop steward or occupational safety and health representative at your workplace or of your union. If the problem cannot be resolved with help from the shop steward, contact your trade union’s regional office or your union’s helpline.
If you are not a trade union member
Talk to a colleague or occupational safety and health representative or your workplace. If the issue cannot be resolved, you can contact the occupational safety and health authorities or SAK’s employee rights helpline.
Are you having problems with your wages?
Keep a record of the hours you work and compare the record to your payslip. The employer must provide the employee with a payslip when the employer pays wages. Keep your payslips.
If you notice any errors or deficiencies in your pay, follow these steps:
1. Ask your employer to pay the missing amount. Send your request by text message or email.
2. If your employer does not pay the amount owed to you, regardless of your request, contact your trade union. If you are not a member of a trade union, you can contact your legal aid office or a law firm, for example.
If an employer is unable to pay because it does not have the money, apply for pay security immediately. You can receive the unpaid amount through the pay security system if your employer is unable to pay.
Act quickly! The pay security application must be submitted within three months of the date on which you were supposed to receive your pay.
Industrial exploitation means, for example, that the employer
pays less salary than what the collective agreement and the law prescribe (underpayment)
does not give an employee days off prescribed by law and the collective labour agreement
requires employees to work too long days without compensation
collects money from the employee as a compensation for the job or the residence permit
prohibits the employee to take sick leave
does not arrange for occupational health service
provides inhumane housing conditions.
Industrial exploitation occurs also in Finland. Often, the victim is an employee with a foreign background. He or she may not know the rules of Finnish working life or fears that he will lose his right of residence.
If you suspect that you are the target of criminal exploitation of workforce, you can contact the police or Victim Support Finland (RIKU). You can contact Victim Support Finland confidentially and get advice on how to proceed. Please contact by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (including text messages or WhatsApp) to 040 632 9293.
If the exploitation is also associated with limitation of freedom, coercion, pressurising, threatening, forcing to take debt, misleading or violence, it can have the constituent elements of human trafficking. You can contact the assistance system for victims of human trafficking by calling 0295 463 117.
Residence permit or certificate because of exploitation by the employer
If you have been the victim of an employer’s exploitation and significant neglect, you can apply for an extension permit or certificate of an extended right to work and change your employer. You must have a residence permit in Finland that includes the right to work. Read more tat the Finnish Immigration Service’s online service.