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Finland: Industrial relations

Original and updating author: Teea Kemppinen


  • The Constitution guarantees freedom of association, and employees have the right to form, join - or not join - and participate in the activity of trade unions. (See Trade unions and recognition)
  • Collective agreement coverage is high, at some 90% of the workforce, and collective bargaining therefore plays a key role in setting terms and conditions of employment across much of the economy. (See Collective bargaining and agreements)
  • Employers with 20 or more employees have statutory "cooperation" obligations in relation to their employees, with cooperation involving information, consultation and negotiation, depending on the circumstances, on a range of specified issues. (See Informing and consulting employees - general)
  • Employers with 20 or more employees have specific information and "cooperation" obligations if they are considering decisions that may lead to the dismissal of one or more employees on financial or production grounds. (See Informing and consulting prior to redundancies)
  • In the event of the planned transfer of a business or part thereof, the old employer and the new employer must, if they employ 20 or more employees, provide information to the representatives of the personnel groups affected by the transfer. (See Informing and consulting prior to transfers)
  • "Community-scale" undertakings and groups of undertakings with headquarters in Finland must, at the written request of at least 100 employees or their representatives from at least two member states, establish a body to negotiate with central management over the establishment of a European Works Council or an information and consultation procedure. (See European Works Councils)
  • While a collective agreement is in force, the signatory employers, employers' associations and trade unions are obliged to maintain "industrial peace". (See Industrial action)
  • In companies with a workforce of 150 or more, employees are entitled to participate in decision-making in the company's "executive, supervisory or advisory bodies" that deal with matters of importance to the business's operations and finances, and the employees' position in the company. (See Board-level employee representation)