Welfare and benefits

A woman and a child look at a smartphone.

Jussi Hellsten / Helsinki Partners

Finland has one of the world's most advanced social welfare systems.

Finland’s excellent employee benefits make a compelling case for expats considering a move – and many companies even offer employees additional perks. Here’s a breakdown of the benefits you’re entitled to (and any extras you can expect) if you choose to accept a position in Finland.

Benefits you have the right to

Legally mandated standards

As a foreign employee in Finland, you have the same rights and responsibilities at work as a Finnish employee, even if you don’t have a residence permit. You also get access to numerous benefits determined by legislation and agreements between employer and employee organisations. These agreements vary by industry, but there are well over a hundred in total, and they set the baseline. The maximum amount of work hours in Finland is 40 hours a week, and you’re entitled to days off every week. Overtime work requires your consent and must be compensated. You’re also entitled to annual holidays, which are paid. 

 

Visit this page for more information about the Finnish job market.

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Credits: Business Finland

Building your professional network is important. Fortunately, employers in Finland offer many ways to bond with colleagues.

Salary and compensation

Compensation levels and structures vary by industry and role, but Finnish legislation and collective agreements set the standard. Fortunately, the system is stable and transparent, and you can always reference your industry’s or employer’s collective agreement to assess whether a salary is fair. 

 

Employee bonuses are also common in Finland. Many collective agreements, for example, include a provision for a holiday bonus. This means you’ll receive your normal salary and an additional holiday bonus amount on top of it. 

 

Of course, every company has a unique compensation structure. But competition for top talent means employees in Finland can expect to be paid fairly – and may even receive additional bonuses.

Paid vacation time

Finland has made work-life balance a priority, and employers understand that having time off makes employees better professionals. Thirty days of vacation is standard if you’re an employee in Finland with an ongoing full-time contract and have worked at your company for at least a year. Full-time employees accrue holiday time for each month worked, and these days can be combined for longer stretches of paid time off. Many Finns, for example, take their four weeks off during the summer months of June and July. That leaves them an extra week of vacation to enjoy in the winter. 

 

It’s important to note that both any relevant legislation and the collective agreement that applies to your employer and industry will define how much holiday time you accrue. Details like the start date of your employment and whether you work full- or part-time can also affect how you acquire holiday time. For more information, visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s site and ask your potential employer about their policy.

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Credits: Business Finland

It's all about balance. In Finland, life outside the office matters just as much as building a successful career.

Healthcare and workplace safety

Finland offers comprehensive, affordable public health services to everyone living in the country. As a rule, all permanent residents of Finland are covered under the National Health Care Insurance scheme. As a permanent resident, you’ll get a Finnish social security number and KELA card that shows you’re covered. You can also use this KELA card to get reimbursements for certain private healthcare fees and medication costs. 

 

Finland also offers private and occupational healthcare services, and employees are entitled to preventive occupational healthcare that’s financed and arranged by their employer. When interviewing for a job, be sure to ask your potential employer what kind of occupational healthcare they provide – many view health and wellness benefits as an additional way to attract and retain the best talent. To learn more about the Finnish health system, visit our healthcare page

 

In addition to healthcare, your employer must ensure workplace safety. You must receive guidance about work environment, equipment, and regulations, and your employer has to insure you for accidents. In Finland, occupational safety and health authorities monitor workplaces to ensure these rules are followed.

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Credits: Maija Astikainen / Helsinki Partners

Boosting workplace well-being is a great investment for Finnish employers.

A brightly colored health center.

Credits: Matti Snellman / Helsinki Partners

World-class healthcare for all: Health Care Index 2020 ranked Finland's healthcare system the tenth best in the world.

Additional benefits you might expect

Employees in Finland are well-covered by standard benefits. But many companies also provide voluntary benefits and extra perks. These can include things like flexible work hours; health, travel, and group life insurance policies; private pension plans; gym memberships and wellness benefits; stock options; and meal benefits. Remember: besides salary, it’s always good to ask what else your employer can offer when determining the best package for you and your family.