Making an employment contract

Employment contracts can be in oral, written or electronic format. Making a written employment contract is in the interest of both the employee and employer.

How does one make an employment contract?

An employment contract is an important phase in accepting a job offer. The contract is a way for you and your employer to agree on what terms will be applied when you enter into the service of your employer.

Through the employment contract, you commit to working for the employer under their management and supervision for pay or some other type of compensation. An employment contract may be signed for a fixed term or until further notice.

Remember that after signing, the employment contract is binding. Before signing, ask if there is something in your employment contract that you do not understand.

One copy of the employment contract will be given to you and one to your employer.

Oral or written employment contract?

According to the law, the employment contract is valid whether made orally, in writing or electronically. Oral contracts can be problematic in that it can be difficult to remember what has been agreed or the parties may remember things differently.

Account of principal terms of work

If you make an oral employment contract, or if the terms of your employment are not laid out in your employment contract, you must be given written information of the principal terms of work without a separate request.  If the employment lasts more than a month, an account must be given of the principal terms of work.

If you repeatedly enter into employment relationships of less than a month with the same employer under the same terms, the employer must provide the above-mentioned written account of the principal terms of work, at the latest one month from the start of the first employment relationship.  For more information on the written information, see the Employment Contracts Act, chapter 2, section 4..

Trial period and employment contract

A trial period can be agreed on for the start of the employment relationship. According to the Employment Contracts Act, the trial period can be no more than six months and no more than half of the duration of the employment contract for fixed-term employment relationships.

If, during the trial period, you have been absent due to incapacity for work or family leave, the employer is entitled to extend the trial period.

The employer is entitled to extend the trial period by one month for every 30 calendar days included in the periods of incapacity for work or family leave. The employer has to notify you of the trial period extension before the end of the trial period.

The conditions in an employment contract cannot be less favourable than the conditions that have been agreed on in the collective agreement. Instead, better employment terms than in the collective agreement can be included in the employment contract.

Check from your employer or shop steward which collective agreement your workplace abides by.

Employment contracts must include at least the following

Before you sign a contract, check that the following items are included:

  • the employer’s and employee’s name, social security number, home address and domicile
  • starting date of employment
  • possible trial period and its duration
  • validity of the employment contract (is the employment contract valid until further notice, fixed-term, or some other kind of contract)
  • If the contract is fixed-term, length of and reason for fixed-term contract
  • place of work
  • working hours (full-time, part-time)
  • type of work
  • pay and payment period
  • annual holiday
  • period of notice
  • applicable collective agreement
  • date and signature.

More advice related to employment contracts

If you are unsure of the correctness of your employment contract, turn to your workplace shop steward or the nearest JHL regional office to have your employment contract checked.

More information: