On 20 March 2020 the Government of Finland decided upon several initial measures to safeguard the liquidity of companies. Some of the measures planned by the Government still require parliamentary approval. As regards labour law, the measures are intended to be temporary and will, as currently planned, be in force for three months. We are monitoring the progress and entry into force of the proposed measures.
Amendments to labour law shall apply to all companies and organisations. Employers must also take into account possible temporary amendments to Collective Agreements agreed by trade unions and employers.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland is currently working on the following temporary amendments to labour law:
- Reducing the minimum negotiation periods stipulated in the Act on Co-operation within Undertakings applicable to lay-offs from the current 14 days or the current 6 weeks to 5 days.
- Extending the applicability of the right to lay off to fixed-term employment contracts to the same extent as they apply to employment contracts of indefinite duration. A laid off employee has the right to terminate the employment contract despite its possible nature as a fixed-term contract.
- Shortening the notification period of lay-offs from 14 days to 5 days.
- Clarification of the possibility to lay off before the end of the co-operation negotiations, as concluded by the social partners (on a case-by-case basis, the exceptional circumstances provided for by Section 60 of the Act on Co-operation within Undertakings may be at hand).
- Allowing cancellation of employment contract during trial period also on financial and production-related grounds.
- The period of obligation to re-employ an employee shall be extended to 9 months where the employment contract has been terminated during the temporary amendments made to labour law due to the corona virus outbreak.