Skip to main content

Termination of employment

Kuva: Shutterstock

Termination of employment

An employment relationship can end due to a fixed term, dismissal, termination or, in special circumstances, that the employment is considered terminated. Both the employee and the employer can terminate the employment relationship when there are legal grounds for termination.
Frequently asked questions about dismissal

The law protects you, so your employer has the right to dismiss you only for serious reasons. Such a reason could be that the available work is reduced or comes to an end, for example. The employer also has grounds for dismissal if you violate your obligations as an employee. However, you must be given an opportunity to correct your behaviour by law.

You cannot be dismissed for reasons such as an illness, disability, trade union activity or ideological reasons. If the dismissal takes place without justified and acceptable reason, the employer is obliged to compensate you for the unlawful dismissal.

Upon your request, the employer must promptly provide you with the reasons for dismissal in writing and the date of your employment’s termination.

As an employee, you can resign simply by notifying your employer in writing or orally. You have no obligation to justify your resignation.

If you resign, the notice period is one month if the employment has continued for more than five years. In an employment relationship of less than five years, the notice period is 14 days.

If your employer terminates your employment contract, the maximum period of notice is six months. This applies to employment relationships that have lasted longer than 12 years. In employment relationships lasting up to one year, the notice period is 14 days.

The employee and the employer may also agree on a different period of notice after the employment’s termination, but both must agree to the change. Even then, the period of notice cannot exceed six months.

The period of notice begins from the day following the termination. If the period of notice is several months, the employment relationship ends on the same numerical date as when the notice was given.

Once an employment contract has been signed for a fixed period, the employment relationship cannot be terminated before period has come to an end, unless it has been expressly agreed upon in the employment contract. This applies to both you and your employer. However, this can usually be agreed between the employee and the employer.

If a probationary period has been agreed upon separately in your employment contract, the contract can be terminated during the probationary period regardless of the fixed term. You can also separately agree that a fixed-term employment contract can be terminated, in which case it can be terminated by either party.

The final pay refers to the normal pay for the period of notice, including all normal fringe benefits for the period of notice. Unused holidays, accrued balances and overtime will also be compensated in it. The final pay must be paid into the employee’s account on the last workday, unless otherwise agreed in the employment contract.  

During the probationary period, your employment contract can be terminated on the basis of the probationary period. Period of notice does not apply and the employment relationship ends immediately on the same day that either you or your employer declares that they will use the probationary period clause as a reason for terminating the employment. At the time of termination of the employment contract, you or the employer do not have to state any grounds for terminating the employment relationship other than the existence of the probationary period.

An employee can be dismissed during family leave, study leave or sick leave, but the employer must then prove that the dismissal was not due to the above-mentioned circumstances. In situations where an employer terminates an entire department, no separate justification is required, as the dismissal was directed at the entire department and not at certain persons.

During maternity leave, parental leave, and nursing leave, the employee has increased protection against dismissal. If the employer dismisses the employee during this period, the reasons for dismissal must be explicit. For this reason, employers hardly lay off anyone during family leave. Only in truly demanding situations, such as bankruptcy or company closedown, can a person on family leave be dismissed from employment. During partial nursing leave, the above-mentioned increased protection against dismissal does not exist, but the employer must justify that the dismissal was not due to the partial leave.

The period of notice is normal working hours and does not affect your work or obligations as an employee. However, the employer may unilaterally waive your obligation to work during the period of notice. Then, you do not have to come to work during the period of notice, but the salary must be paid normally until the end of the period of notice. The employer can then take away, for example, the company car, phone or computer, but if they do so, they will still have to pay you fringe benefits in your salary.

You have a legal right to belong to a trade union and you cannot be dismissed for trade union activity. If you are threatened to be dismissed because of your trade union membership, please contact us immediately.

Guide to Working Life

Puzzled by the working life? Find answers here.

Are you wondering how to proceed?

As a member you have our support.

Contact us, we are happy to help you!

Join us today!

Access all benefits and services.

Membership includes earnings-related unemployment security.