Mies seisoo kuvassa kalenterin edessä.

Changing jobs requires precision

News article

The lawyers of TEK are often asked questions about changing jobs. There are many things that need to be considered in these situations.

My notice period is 14 days. When does my employment end if I give notice on 2 May 2022? 

If the notice period has been given in days, the notice period does not include the day on which notice is given. If your notice period is 14 days and you give notice on 2 May 2022, your employment will end on 16 May 2022. If 16 May 2022 is a working day for you, your employment will end after your shift on that day.

My notice period is one month. When does my employment end if I give notice on 4 May 2022? Can my employment end on a day that is not a working day, such as Sunday? 

If the notice period has been given in months, the employment relationship will end on the day with the same number as the day on which notice was given.  If you give notice on 4 May 2022 and your notice period is one month, your employment will end on 4 June 2022. An employment relationship can end on any calendar day.

No collective agreement is applied to my employment relationship. What is my notice period when there is no mention of it in my employment contract? 

In your situation, the notice period is determined by the Employment Contracts Act. According to the law, the notice period to be observed by the employee is 14 days, if the employment relationship has continued for no more than five years, and one month, if the employment relationship has continued for more than five years. 

I am about to change jobs. When should I give my notice?

You should not give notice to your current employer until you have signed a new employment contract. If you give notice too early, the worst-case scenario is that you are left completely without employment if something unexpected happens in your potential new workplace, such as the recruitment permission is denied.

How do I give my notice? 

Notice should be given in a way that allows the employee to verify, if necessary, that they have given notice and demonstrate the time of giving notice. Notice should be given in person; the employee can create two identical notices of termination, one for the employer and one for the employee. A representative of the employer should sign the employee’s copy to confirm that they have received the notice of termination. If it is not possible to give notice in person, the employee can give notice electronically, for example. In such cases, you should ask a representative of the employer to confirm in writing that they have received the notice of termination.

What should I take into consideration if I am leaving my current employer to work for a competitor later this year? My employment contract, signed in 2019, has a non-compete clause for a period of 6 months after the termination of my employment relationship. 

You cannot start working for a competitor of your current employer until after your period of notice and the subsequent restraint period imposed by the non-compete clause have ended. Since the non-competition agreement has been made before 2022 and your employment relationship will end in 2022, the employer is not obligated to pay compensation for the restraint period.

What happens to my holidays when I change jobs? 

You accrue holiday during your notice period according to the same rules as during your employment relationship. Giving notice does not affect your right to take a holiday or the employer's right to decide the time of your holiday; the principles concerning annual leave therefore apply normally during your notice period as well. You will receive a holiday compensation with your terminal salary for all the holidays you have not had time to take during your employment.

I have given my notice. When my employment ends, will I receive a holiday bonus for all the holidays I did not use up? 

The law does not provide for a holiday bonus. This means that the principles concerning holiday bonuses can vary. The right to a holiday bonus is usually based on a collective agreement. If your employment is not covered by any collective agreement, the employer is under no obligation to pay you a holiday bonus if there is no mention of it in your employment contract or the employer does not have a holiday bonus policy. It is extremely rare for an employer to be obligated to pay a holiday bonus for a holiday compensation (that is, holidays that have not been taken) in a situation where the employee themself has given notice.

Please note that holiday bonus and holiday compensation are different things. You are always entitled to holiday compensation with your terminal salary for all the holidays you have not had time to take during your employment.

My employment ended last week. What should I do to get a certificate of employment? 

Employees are entitled to receive, on request, a certificate of employment on termination of the employment relationship. The employee should state whether they want a brief or an extended certificate of employment. A brief certificate of employment states the duration of the employment relationship and the nature of the work duties. An extended certificate of employment contains the above information as well as the reason for the termination of the employment relationship and/or an assessment of the employee’s working skills and behaviour. You should therefore contact your former employer and ask them to send you a certificate of employment. If you have any problems, you can contact TEK's lawyers or the occupational safety and health administration (työsuojeluviranomainen, tyosuojelu.fi) in your region.

The notice period is often negotiable

The duration of the notice period can be specified in the employment contract within the limits of the law (and the collective agreement, if there is one). The longest permitted notice period is six months. If you have agreed on a longer period, you must instead comply with a six-month notice period. The notice period can be longer for the employer than the employee. The notice period that the employee must observe may not be longer than the notice period that the employer must observe. However, if a longer period has been agreed upon, the notice period observed by the employer also applies to the employee.