The Finnish Parliament has enacted temporary legislation concerning lay-offs and temporary lay-offs. The new legislation is in force from 1st April till 31st December. The new regulations were enacted in unexpected circumstances: the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is the reason behind temporary changes. In the Finnish labour law system collective agreements play a significant role. The outcome of the negotiations between Finnish trade organization and employees’ organization is behind the governmental proposal. This informative article focuses on the temporary changes concerning lay-offs, temporary lay-offs and the shortened notice period for lay-offs.

The notice period for lay-offs is shortened. The employer must notify the worker of the laying off at the latest 5 days before the beginning of the lay-off. Before, the notice period was 14 days. Furthermore, the duration of cooperation negotiations is shortened. The duration of the negotiations is at least 5 days.

Laying off an employee who has a temporary contract is also permitted. The employer can lay-off a worker who has a temporary contract on the same preconditions as a worker who has a contract of unspecified duration. Previously, laying off a worker who had a temporary contract was permitted only if the worker was deputizing a permanent employee and, in the circumstances, it would have been permitted to terminate the contract of employment with the permanent worker.


Terminating the contract of employment with a worker in the trial period is facilitated. The employer may terminate the contract of employment during the trial period also with a financial or productional ground or when the employer’s potential for offering work has diminished temporarily and the employer cannot reasonably provide the employee with other suitable training or work.

Article was written by Marika Korsimaa