Core Facts

  • Population:  5.5M
  • GDP:  USD 232 billion
  • GDP per head:  USD 45,214
  • Workforce:  2.4M
  • Unemployment (2017):  9.6%
  • Average high skilled monthly wages (2017):  USD 3,768


In line with its Scandinavian neighbours Finland has a high level of labour regulation in which collective bargaining between organised labour and organised employers plays a major role. The collective processes and the agreements reached are themselves underpinned by comprehensive and detailed labour law. Over seventy per cent of the Finnish work force is a member of a trade union.

A global business operating in Finland will need to get to grips with a hierarchy of rules starting from mandatory labour law at the top and then progressing through generally applicable norms in collective agreements, norms in collective agreements that are also binding by law, semi-mandatory laws which can be varied by collective agreements, shop rules agreed between employer and employee representatives, clauses in individual contracts, optional rules under law or collective agreement, custom and practice in the workplace and only then employer instructions.