|NUORI TYÖNTEKIJÄ [UNG ARBETSTAGARE]
As defined in Finland's special statute on the matter (the 1993 Young Workers Act), a person under the age of 18 who performs work in a private- or public-law employment relationship. Under the Act, young persons who have attained the age of 15 may be admitted to regular employment provided they have completed their compulsory schooling. However, those as young as 13 who will reach the age of 14 during the calendar year in question may be employed for light work which is not harmful to their health or development and does not interfere with their attendance at school. The working time of those under 15 is restricted in that they may not be employed for more than half of their time off school. Within the meaning of the Act, time off school includes summer, Christmas and sports holidays but not weekends. On actual schooldays those under 15 may be employed for short-term work or temporary work.
The local Health and Safety Commission can grant a special permit for a young person under the age of 14 to work as a performer or assistant in artistic and cultural performances and other similar events.
Young persons who have attained the age of 15 have the legal capacity to conclude their own contract of employment. In the case of those under 15, the contract is concluded on their behalf by the adult having care and custody of them. When concluding a contract of employment with persons under the age of 18 the employer must be given reliable evidence of their age and completion of compulsory schooling. However, the adult having care and custody of a young worker under the age of 18 has the right to terminate the latter's contract without notice (see summary termination) if this is necessary for the sake of the young worker's education, development or health. Other aspects of termination of the employment relationship are regulated by rules laid down in the 2001 Contracts of Employment Act.
Within no more than a month of their commencing employment it must be ensured that a young worker is given a medical examination at the employer's expense. No such examination need, however, be given if the employment relationship is due to last for no more than three months or if the work concerned is light shop or office work.
A number of special rules are laid down on working hours and rest periods and breaks for young workers under the age of 18, based on Directive 9433EC on the protection of young persons at work. The prescribed daily rest period (see breaksrest periods) is at least 14 hours for those under the age of 15 and at least 12 hours for those aged 15 and over. All young workers under the age of 18 whose daily working hours are longer than 412 hours must be granted a meal break (ruokatunti) of at least 30 minutes during which they are free to leave the work premises. In the case of working hours averaged over a period a special arrangement as regulated by the 1996 Working Time Act may be followed. However, where rest periods for adult workers are prescribed by the relevant collective agreement and are based on an exception, young workers under 18 must nevertheless always be granted an uninterrupted weekly rest period of at least 38 consecutive hours.
The normal working hours of young workers who have attained the age of 15 may be the same as those of adult employees doing the same work, subject to a maximum (including overtime) of nine hours a day or 48 hours a week. For those under 15, working hours during their school holidays (which must fall between 0800 and 2000 hrs) must not exceed seven hours a day and 35 hours a week and they may not be used for overtime.
Register of young workers
Employers are required to maintain a register (luettelo) of young workers who are hired under an employment contract of indefinite duration. An entry must also be made in the register where a fixed-term contract lasts for more than two months. In addition to personal particulars, the entry in the register must state the starting-date of the employment relationship and a job description. See child labour, minimum age for concluding a contract of employment.)
Please note: the European industrial relations glossaries were compiled between 1991 and 2003 and are not updated. For current material see the European industrial relations dictionary.