Work contract

There is always plenty to remember and learn when starting a new employment. Check that your work contract contains everything that was agreed on with the employer, such as pay, the duration of the employment, the place for working and the applicable collective labour agreement.

Make written contract

The work contract is the basic contract in working life with which we commit ourselves to perform work for the employer as per the agreement, against the defined pay and other benefits.

A work contract should always be made in writing, but an oral work contract is valid, too.

The content of the work contract

The work contract records the starting time for the work. If it’s a fixed-term contract, also the ending date or the estimated ending date, if the work ends e.g. when a project ends. The work contract must determine the place for work. This is particularly important when the employer has several branch offices. If there is no physical place for working, this can be stated in the work contract.

It is also important that the work contract lists the main duties. Otherwise employees can have duties assigned that they were not actually hired for.

The work contract between an employee and the employer defines the conditions for the employment and work, including pay, place for work as well as the starting and ending dates. It is also important that the work contract lists the main duties. Otherwise employees can have duties assigned that they are not actually hired for. The conditions also contain the collective labour agreement applicable to that work which frequently determines the conditions applicable to the employment in more detail than the legislation does.

Make sure that your work contract determines:

  • the pay
  • the place for work
  • the date when the contract commences
  • the ending time for the contract (unless it is valid until further notice)
  • the main duties
  • the applicable collective labour agreement based on which the conditions of the employment are determined.

Normally, neither party can terminate a fixed-term contract, unless it has been agreed in the work contract. A fixed-term contract can only be terminated on the grounds provided by the law. Moreover, if the work contract contains a provision regarding a trial period, the fixed-term contract can be cancelled within the trial period.

A work contract should always be made in writing. A written work contract is in the interest of both the employee and the employer, because it can be used to verify what was agreed on the work and its conditions, if necessary. As a rule, neither party can change the conditions agreed in the work contract unilaterally without the other party’s consent.

You do not have to sign the work contract right away, you can ask the employer for time to study the work contract. Members of a trade union can ask the shop steward at the workplace to review the content of the contract.

Trial period

The work contract can state that there will be a trial period of no more than six months at the beginning of the new job. If the employee has been absent from work during the trial period due to disability to work or a family leave, the employer has the right to extend the trial period. If the trial period has contained disability or family leave periods, the trial period can be extended by one month per each 30 days of disability or family leave period. The employer must notify the employee of the extension of the trial period before the trial period is ended.

In fixed-term employment the trial period including extensions can be half of the duration of the work contract at most, however no more than six months. If the work contract that is binding to the employer has a provision of a trial period, the employer must notify the employee of the application of this provision as the work contract is being signed.

The work contract can be cancelled by both sides during the trial period. The work contract must not, however, be cancelled on discriminating or otherwise inappropriate grounds with respect to the purpose of the trial period.