That party to a contract of employment who undertakes, in return for remuneration, to perform work for the employer under the latter's direction and supervision. Employees working within a private-law employment relationship constitute the largest group of those engaged in dependent gainful employment in Finland. They number around 1.7 million, while public servants working within a public-law employment relationship number around 300 000. Status as an employee is identified essentially with the aid of the characteristics of an employment relationship mentioned in the 2001 Contracts of Employment Act (more especially the characteristic of subordination to the employer's direction and supervision) and also, where necessary, on the basis of rules supplementing the definition of the scope of that Act. The general rule is that labour-law statutes and the statutes providing social security for employees are applicable to employment relationships that fulfil the fundamental characteristics of the employment relationship. The existence of employee status is significant for the individual concerned from the point of view of many important provisions providing protection and benefits.
(Note: In addition to this generic sense, the term työntekijä is sometimes used in the specific sense of a manual worker in contradistinction to a white-collar worker (toimihenkilö) in contexts where special aspects of white-collar status are relevant. In such contexts, the term palkansaaja may then be used in its place to refer to an employee in the generic sense.)
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.