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Amendments to the Finnish Posted Workers Act to take effect

  • Finland

    30-07-2020

    A posted worker is an employee normally working in a country other than Finland and whose employer, established and performing activities in another country, posts him/her during an employment relationship to Finland to perform temporary work for a limited period of time within the framework of providing cross-border services as subcontracted work, as an internal transfer within a group of undertakings or as temporary agency work. Posted workers are governed by the Finnish Posted Workers Act, which entered into force on 18 June 2016.

    In May 2020, the Finnish Government issued a bill which proposes amendments to the Finnish Posted Workers Act. The proposed changes aim at implementing the amended EU Posted Workers Directive. The goal is to promote equal treatment of local and posted employees with regard to working conditions and equal competition between companies.

    The Finnish Parliament is currently considering the bill which contains, inter alia, the following proposed amendments to the Posted Workers Act:

    • more detailed guidelines on pay provisions applicable to posted workers;
    • restrictions to the employer’s right to set off receivables against an employee’s salary;
    • a new provision on making pay comparisons according to which any payments of an uncertain nature made by the employer would be regarded as compensation for expenses and not as a wage or salary;
    • an extension of applicable collective agreements in transfers within subcontracting or a corporate group;
    • application of the same accommodation quality requirements to posted and local workers;
    • additional employment conditions to be applied to long postings of more than 12 months;
    • an obligation for the employer to compensate the posted worker’s travel, accommodation and meal expenses incurred during travel from the worker’s regular workplace in Finland during the posting.

    The amendments would also introduce a protection provision concerning travel and accommodation costs arising from the worker’s posting to Finland. The protection provision would coordinate the protection agreed on in the employment contract and provided in the country of origin and the posting country. In addition, the amendment would expand the companies’ duty to provide information, as they would in future be required to make an advance notification of all posted workers. Finland’s current regulation already complies with the requirements of the amended directive on posted workers regarding the compulsory extension of the scope of application to other sectors besides construction.

    The Government has proposed that the amendments should enter into force on 30 July 2020, although the amendments concerning prior notification of posting would not enter into force until after the completion of technical revisions on 1 October 2021. Workers who are posted when the amendments enter into force would be subject to a 12-month transition period during which the prior regulation would apply to them, with the exception of the provision on the basis of which the working period is calculated, which would be immediately applied to all posted workers. The amendments are currently being considered by the Parliament and have not as yet been adopted.

    The article was written by Associate Henni Parviainen and Junior Associate Cecilia Widd.

     

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