Salary is paid for the work done. Salary can be based on time (hourly or monthly) or work performance and the outcome. The salary and the basis for determining it must be stated in the work contract. In addition to salary, the employer may offer employment benefits, such as lunch vouchers, sports and culture vouchers, or an employer-subsidized travel ticket.
You may have also come across the terms fee or compensation for work. When agreeing on work, attention must be paid to how compensation for the work done is proposed to be paid. From the employee’s point of view, this is relevant because compensation for the work is not taxed as salary but as business or professional income or personal earned income.
The amount of salary
The amount of the salary is agreed in the employment contract. Collective labour agreements in various sectors have generally agreed on the basis for determining the salary and minimum wages. The salary must not be lower than the minimum wage, but it can of course be higher. If there is no collective labour agreement in the sector, the employee has the right to receive normal and reasonable remuneration for the work he or she does under the Employment Contracts Act.
Do read about the collective labour agreement and salary in the industry before signing the employment contract and agreeing on the salary. It is important to ensure that you are paid fair salary for the work. The collective agreement in your field can be found on the Finlex website (in Finnish). Collective agreements can also be found on the trade unions’ websites. You can get help determining your salary from your own trade union.
Personal compensatory supplements and experience bonuses
Collective agreements have often agreed on a pay scheme in which the determination of pay is influenced by, for example, the demands of the job and the employee’s performance at work. The payment of experience bonus is also based on collective agreements. According to the experience bonus scheme, the salary increases automatically when a person has worked for the company for a certain period of time.
The personal compensatory supplement may be based on the employment contract or company policy. Personal compensatory supplements are based on performance appraisal and can be paid on the basis of, for example, performance, productivity, multi-skills or the ability to work collaboratively.
Internships related to studies can be paid or unpaid. It is a good idea to agree on the pay in writing with the employer in advance. A trainee’s pay is often lower than normal because the employer spends more time guiding the student during the internship. In some sectors, the trainee’s pay is defined in the collective agreement and can be, for example, 70-90% of the lowest amount on the pay scale in the sector.
If the pay day is Sunday, public holiday or a regular Saturday, the due date is the previous working day.
Too little salary?
If you find that your pay is below the industry’s minimum wage, the matter should be clarified together with the supervisor and the shop steward.
The pay is increased according to the collective agreements, but the employer can increase the pay more than agreed in the collective agreement. Pay, on the other hand, cannot be reduced without your consent.
Requesting a pay rise
The amount of your salary in relation to the work done should be actively monitored. When considering requesting a pay rise, you can prepare for a discussion with your supervisor, for example, by reviewing your industry’s collective agreement and the position of your pay in the salary scheme, and look at your union’s pay statistics to see how your pay is relative to market wages.
The pay rise can be justified, for example, by the development of one’s own skills or performance of work tasks. Salary negotiations should be held regularly, for example in connection with development discussions, or a separate meeting may be arranged for matters related to salary.
Salary is paid at least once a month and twice a month for employees working by the hour. This is called the pay period. The pay period and pay date, i.e. the day on which the pay can be withdrawn from the employee’s account, should be stated in the employment contract. The salary must be paid into the bank account indicated by the employee.
If the payday is a Sunday, a public holiday or a Saturday, the due date is the preceding business day.
The employee must receive a receipt for the salary paid, which shows not only the salary but also taxes and statutory payments, such as the unemployment insurance contribution and the earnings-related pension contribution. It is always a good idea to check your payslip carefully and tell your employer immediately about any errors. If the payday is a Sunday, a public holiday or a Saturday, the due date is the preceding business day.
Working hours related allowances
There may also be various allownces included in the salary. Depending on the time of the work done, an evening work allowance, a night work allowance, a Saturday work allowance, a Sunday work allowance or a midweek holiday allowance can be paid in addition to the salary. For example, a rate increase of 100 per cent is paid for Sunday work.
The allowance to be paid and the amounts are usually agreed in the collective agreement of the sector. At the beginning of the employment relationship, it is worth checking what allowance may be paid for the work if the work is done, for example, in the evenings or on weekends.
Overtime compensation is a pay rate increase of 50 per cent for the first two hours of work exceeding the maximum regular daily working time, and 100 per cent for subsequent hours. The employer and the employee may also agree that the additional or overtime pay be exchanged for leisure time.
In connection with the payment of salary, a payslip is issued, which shows the amount of the payment and the grounds for determining it. In addition, it shows possible wage allowance (e.g. additional work and overtime compensation), tax-free compensation paid, employee benefits and taxes levied on wages, i.e. withholding tax, pension and social security contributions, and any other payments such as union dues.
Always check that your payslip shows all the required payments. If taxes, pension and social security contributions have not been specified in the payslip, the employer may have failed to pay these. In everyday language, we talk about the grey economy which should not be supported by doing undeclared work.
The payslip can also be sent to the employee in electronic form (web-payslip). Indeed, many jobs have given up paper payslips altogether. An electronic payslip can usually be found in your own online bank.
Other compensation received for work
Wages can contain various allowances. Depending on the time when the work was performed, there may be evening allowance, night duty allowance, Saturday premium pay, Sunday pay or holiday compensation in addition to the wages. For example, work performed on Sunday is paid with a 100% increase.
The payable allowances and their amounts are usually agreed in the collective labour agreements in each sector. At the beginning of your employment, you should check what the possible allowances are, if the work is performed for instance in the evenings or at weekends.
Overtime compensation is 50% for the first two hours and 100% for the following hours. The employer and employee can also agree that the extra work or overtime compensation is exchanged to free time.
Work can also be paid for in fees, such as writer’s fee, meeting fee or lecture fee. The word fee is used variedly both in employment and as an entrepreneur and its significance has not been established. Fees can also be paid to those in employment, but in that case, despite their title, they are considered wages, for which also the pension and other insurance contributions, in addition to taxes, must be paid. It is essential to pay attention to the conditions of work, if it is an employment relationship or not.
The compensation paid for work can also be non-wage compensation. When agreeing on work, you should pay attention to how they propose to pay the compensation for the work done. From the employee’s perspective this matter is relevant, because you must pay pensions and the employer’s social security payment from wages but not from non-wage compensation.
From the taxation point of view, pay and non-wage compensation are treated differently, too. Non-wage compensation is not taxed as wages but as operating or professional income or as personal earnings. Non-wage compensation is therefore usually paid for work performed as an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs pay e.g. taxes and pensions from the compensation they get and also consider other work expenses in the amount of the compensation.
The compensation for work can also be compensation for the use. Compensation for the use (royalty) refers to the compensation paid for copyright or its utilisation. Compensation for the use is paid for work in the creative industry and it is a compensation paid for utilising a piece of work under copyright. It is not intended to compensate for the wages payable for performed work.
Deductions from the pay
Withholding tax refers to an income tax that is directly withheld from the pay. To pay the withholding tax the employer will need your tax deduction card. The amount of tax will change according to the income — check your tax rate on your tax card or on the tax authorities’ website. (You will need internet banking personal identity codes to log into the site.)
The unemployment insurance premium is withheld from the pay of every employee between the ages of 17 and 64 in connection to the wage payment. In addition to the unemployment insurance contributions from the employer and wage-earners, the unemployment benefits are financed by a government-paid share, and income protection is financed by the membership fees for unemployment funds. In addition to unemployment security, the unemployment insurance premiums are used to finance the adult education allowance and partly pension benefits, too.
The unemployment insurance premium as well as the employment pension contribution must be recorded in the pay slip. It is always recommended to check your pay slip for pay and contributions. It is not worth supporting the black economy by doing unreported work!
In Finland, the employment pension is primarily funded by employment pension insurance premiums that are withheld in connection with every wage payment. The employment pension contributions are paid by employers and employees in both private and public sectors. The employment pension premium is a type of an insurance premium, insuring us in case everything does not go as planned.
It is always recommended to check your pay slip for pay and employment pension contributions. Let’s not support the black economy with unreported work, since it will not accrue pensions.
The employment may include so-called fringe benefits that the employer pays in another form than wages. Such benefits include lunch benefits, telephone benefits, employer-subsidized commuter tickets, sport and cultural vouchers or car benefits. The tax administration annually confirms the taxable value of these fringe benefits and they are taxed accordingly. However, relatively few employees, in managerial positions, are entitled to these fringe benefits connected to employment.
You can pay your trade union fee either yourself at your trade union or alternatively ask your employer to withhold it directly from your pay by filling in an agreement for collection. The trade union fees are tax-deductible. Find out more about the collection agreement on your trade union website.