Termination of employment
Termination of employment
If your employer terminates your employment
When the employer terminates an employee’s employment relationship, it indicates that the employee’s work ends completely. In other words, the employer terminates the employment contract entered into by the employee and the employer. The employer may terminate an indefinite or continuous employment contract, but not a fixed-term employment contract.
The employer can only terminate an employee’s employment, if it has a valid and cogent reason. The employer must always explain the reason for the dismissal to the employee.
The reason for a dismissal may be
- the fact that the company’s products and services are not purchased enough
- the company’s poor financial situation
- a reason due to the employee, such as continuously being late for work or performing their work poorly. Before dismissal, the employer must give the employee a warning and the opportunity to mend his or her ways.
The reason for a dismissal cannot be the employee’s
- pregnancy or family leave
- illness, injury or accident, unless the employee’s ability to work has been reduced significantly and for a long term
- participating in industrial action
- political, religious or other opinion or social activity
- resorting to legal remedies.
You can ask the employer to notify you in writing of the employment contract’s end date and the reasons for the termination. The employer must then provide them to you as soon as possible.
If the employer has given you a notice of termination, your work will not end immediately, but continues still for the period of notice. If you have been dismissed for productional or economic reasons, that is, because the company’s products and services are not sufficiently purchased or its financial situation is poor, you are entitled to paid free time for job searching or preparing an employment plan. The free time is 5-20 days, depending on the length of the notice period. Notify the employer of the free time as soon as you can.
If you have worked for the same employer for at least 5 years and the employer has at least 30 employees, you are entitled to employment-promoting training and occupational health service paid by the employer for 6 months from the beginning of the unemployment.
Do not sign any papers regarding your dismissal that you do not understand.
If you do not agree with your employer regarding the dismissal, please contact the shop steward of your workplace or your trade union. You can also contact SAK employee rights hotline
If the employer has dismissed you for financial or productional reasons (i.e. the company’s products and services have not been sufficiently purchased or the company has had a bad financial situation), he may be obligated to offer you a job later. This so-called readmission obligation is valid for 4 months after the termination of the employment, if the employer needs an employee for the same or similar duties as those the employee did before the dismissal. If the employee’s employment has continued without interruption for at least 12 years until the dismissal, the readmission obligation lasts for 6 months after the termination of the employment.
If you want to terminate your employment
The employee can terminate the employment relationship by notifying the employer.
If you want to terminate your permanent employment relationship, you must terminate your indefinite or continuous employment contract. Take a written notice of termination to your employer personally. If this is not possible, submit the termination to your employer by letter or electronic means.
You do not have to explain the reason for your resignation.
Once you have been resigned, you cannot stop work immediately. Instead, the work will continue during the period of notice.
Periods of notice
The notice period starts after the employee or employer has terminated the employment contract. The law stipulates how long the notice period is. In some situations, periods of notice can also be agreed upon in a collective agreement or an employment contract.
Your employment will only end after the period of notice. During the period of notice, you work normally and receive a regular salary for that time.
Statutory notice periods
When the employer dismisses the employee, the notice period is
- 14 days if employment has lasted for less than or exactly one year
- 1 month if employment has lasted for 1-4 years
- 2 months if employment has lasted for 4-8 years
- 4 months if employment has lasted for 8-12 years
- 6 months if employment has lasted for more than 12 years.
When the employee terminates the employment contract, the notice period is
- 14 days if employment has continued for less than or exactly 5 years
- 1 month if employment has continued for more than 5 years.
Termination of employment during the trial period
During the trial period, the employee or the employer can terminate the employment relationship without a period of notice. Termination of employment during the trial period may not be discriminatory or inappropriate.
Termination of fixed-term employment
A fixed-term employment relationship ends on the day that reads in your employment contract. A fixed-term employment contract cannot be terminated unless agreed upon in the employment contract. Thus, you cannot stop working when the employment contract is in progress. The employer cannot dismiss you, either, when the employment contract in progress.
Even if no termination of a fixed-term employment contract had been agreed upon in the employment contract, you can still try to agree on the termination of the employment relationship with your employer before the fixed-term contract ends.
Cancellation of an employment contract
Cancellation of an employment contract means that the employment contract is terminated immediately. Then there is no notice period. During the trial period, the employment contract can be cancelled immediately. Otherwise, the employment contract can only be cancelled if there is a very strong reason.
The employer may have a strong reason to cancel the employment contract if the employee fails to fulfil his obligations or breaches the rules seriously, for example, if the employee steals from the workplace or comes to work drunk.
The employee may have a strong reason to cancel the employment contract if the employer fails to fulfil his obligations or breaches the rules seriously, for example, if the employer does not pay the salary or does not take care of occupational safety.
Bankruptcy of the employer
The employer’s bankruptcy means that the employer’s company shuts down, because it no longer has money. Then also your work ends, and you may remain without the last salary. If the employer cannot pay you a salary for the work you have already done, you will receive your salary through pay security.
Pay security is applied for on a form. You can get the form from
Apply for pay security within 3 months of the end of your work.
When the employment relationship ends, you are entitled to get an employment certificate from the employer. It shows how long you have been employed and what you have done.
At your request, the employer can also enter an evaluation of how you have performed your work and why the employment relationship ended. If you do not request an evaluation, your employer may not enter this information in your employment certificate.
The employment certificate is useful when applying for a new job: it is a certificate of your work experience in a job interview. The employment certificate is also important if you are unemployed and apply for unemployment benefit.
If you do not remember to request an employment certificate immediately, you can request it later. The employer is obligated to issue an employment certificate if you request it within 10 years of the end of the work.
What to do when your work ends or you are laid off, and you become unemployed:
- Register as a jobseeker in the electronic services (Oma asiointi) of the TE Office no later than on your first day of lay-off or unemployment. Fill in the registration form carefully.
- If you cannot use the electronic service, you can fill in the form at the TE Office or call the TE Office (tel. 0295 025 500, Mon-Fri from 9:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.).
- If you are tasked with an assessment of the need for service, prepare it within 2 working days in order that your search for work does not end.
- If you are tasked with an employment plan, prepare it within 7 working days in order that your search for work does not end.
- Apply for unemployment benefit electronically after two weeks from your own unemployment fund or from the Social Insurance Institution (Kela).
- Remember to ensure that your search for work is valid in the TE Office throughout your unemployment.
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If your work ends and you because unemployed, you are entitled to unemployment benefit. Unemployment benefit means financial support that you receive during your unemployment. You can also get unemployment benefit during a lay-off.
Forms of unemployment benefit are earnings-related daily allowance, basic unemployment allowance and labour market support.
You apply for unemployment benefit from the unemployment fund or from Kela, if you are not a member of the unemployment fund. When you join the trade union, you can also join the unemployment fund of your sector. The unemployment fund pays you earnings-related unemployment daily allowance, if you fulfil the conditions for receiving unemployment daily allowance, including the condition of previous employment. The earnings-related unemployment daily allowance is greater than the basic unemployment allowance or labour market support paid by Kela to the unemployed.
Read more about the terms and conditions and duration of receiving earnings-related daily allowance:
When you receive unemployment benefit, you are obligated to search for work actively. You can lose the unemployment benefit for a fixed period, if
- you receive a job offer from the TE Office and refuse to apply for the job in accordance with the offer without a good reason
- you refuse the training provided by the TE Office without a good reason.
If you have jobs you receive a salary for during the unemployment period, report them to your own unemployment fund or Kela, that is, the place that pays your unemployment benefit. The salary you receive from these jobs is taken into account in the payment of the unemployment benefit.
Are you under 25 years of age and unemployed?
If you are between 18 and 24 years of age, you can receive unemployment benefit, if
- you have a vocational education and
- you have not refused work or education offered to you.
If you do not have any vocational education, you must apply for vocational education starting in the autumn or admittance to a university or a university of applied sciences no later than 31.8. You must apply for at least two education locations. You can also apply for upper secondary school if you have only completed comprehensive school.
If you do not apply for or start education, you will not receive unemployment benefit. You can only receive unemployment benefit once you have
- worked or acted as an entrepreneur
- studied or
- participated in TE Office services for 21 weeks in total (approximately 5 months).
Are you an immigrant and unemployed?
If you terminate your employment, your right of residence in Finland may end if you do not have new employment or other grounds for staying in Finland. A new job can usually only be acquired in the same sector. If you change the sector, you have to apply for a new residence permit
One condition of unemployment benefit is that you live in Finland on the basis of a non-temporary residence permit. There are other conditions as well. Check your rights with your unemployment fund or with Kela.