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Case Reports

2019/21 Supreme Court rules on liability distribution between transferor and transferee (FI)

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 2 2019
Trefwoorden Transfer of Undertakings, Dismissal/Severance Payment
Auteurs Janne Nurminen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    A municipal federation took back a nursing home operation it had previously outsourced to a contractor. The Finnish Supreme Court held that a transfer of undertaking had taken place and the municipal federation (transferee) was liable to pay the employee compensation for the unlawful termination of the employment contract. Further, the Supreme Court held that the employee had also without a justifiable reason directed the claim for compensation towards the employer company (transferor/the old contractor) and for that reason was liable to pay the legal costs of the employer company.


Janne Nurminen
Janne Nurminen is a Senior Associate with Roschier, Attorneys Ltd in Helsinki, www.roschier.com.

    The Finnish Supreme Court held that a transfer of undertaking had taken place in a situation where no contract of transfer was concluded.


Janne Nurminen
Janne Nurminen is a Senior Associate with Roschier, Attorneys Ltd in Helsinki, www.roschier.com

    The Finnish Supreme Court has held that an employer discriminated against an employee by not renewing his employment at the end of a fixed-term contract because he was overweight.


Janne Nurminen
Janne Nurminen is a Senior Associate with Roschier, Attorneys Ltd in Helsinki, www.roschier.com.

    In its follow-up judgment to the ECJ’s preliminary ruling in the Hälvä case (C-175/16), the Finnish Supreme Court has held that ‘relief parents’ relieving foster parents in a child protection association on the latter’s holidays fall within the scope of the Finnish Working Hours Act even though the work was performed in the homes provided by the association for the children to live in. Therefore, the relief parents were entitled to the rights guaranteed by the Act (subject to the fact that some of their claims had expired).


Janne Nurminen
Janne Nurminen is a Senior Associate with Roschier in Helsinki, www.roschier.com.
Case Reports

2018/20 Labour Court sets out employers’ equal treatment obligations following the transfer of a business (FI)

Tijdschrift European Employment Law Cases, Aflevering 2 2018
Trefwoorden Transfer of undertaking, General discrimination, Terms of employment
Auteurs Janne Nurminen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The Finnish Labour Court recently decided a case about the transfer of a business and the associated obligation to harmonise employees’ salaries. The Court held that the employer had not shown good reasons for continuing to pay different salaries to employees with equivalent responsibilities long after the transfer.


Janne Nurminen
Janne Nurminen is a Senior Associate with Roschier in Helsinki, www.roschier.com.

    The Supreme Court of Finland has ruled that an employer had legitimate grounds to make 16 consecutive fixed-term employment contracts with an employee who did not hold the degree required by law for permanent employment as a social worker. However, the employer had neglected its obligation to offer work and provide training for the employee and was obliged to pay compensation for unjustified termination of the employment relationship.


Kaj Swanljung

Janne Nurminen
Kaj Swanljung and Janne Nurminen are respectively a Senior Counsel and Senior Associate at Roschier in Helsinki, www.roschier.com.

    Following consultations with its employees in accordance with the Finnish Codetermination Act (334/2007), a company informed the employees that it would close down its current office premises and move its operations, including all of its employees, to another location. An employee, whose employment contract expressly stipulated the location of the old office as the fixed place of work, refused to transfer and did not arrive at the new place of work after the transfer. The company considered the employee’s absence unjustified and terminated her employment with immediate effect. The Supreme Court held that an employer can, as an alternative to termination of employment, unilaterally amend material terms of employment provided it notifies the employees sufficiently clearly of the terms being amended, the time when the new terms would come into effect, the grounds for termination, and the consequences of not accepting the amendments.


Kaj Swanljung
Kaj Swanljung and Janne Nurminen are respectively a Senior Counsel and a Senior Associate with Roschier in Helsinki, www.roschier.com.

Janne Nurminen

    A company had leased some employees from a temporary work agency between 2008 and 2012 to work alongside its own employees on a continuous basis. The collective bargaining agreement that the company was bound by restricted the use of temporary agency workers to situations in which the work could not be performed by the company’s own staff. The trade union brought an action before the Labour Court claiming that the company had used temporary agency workers continuously to a greater extent than permitted by the collective bargaining agreement and that the employers’ association, of which the company was a member, had breached its supervisory duty. In a preliminary ruling, the ECJ held that the Temporary Agency Work Directive (2008/104/EC) does not oblige national courts to refuse to apply national law containing prohibitions or restrictions, even if those restrictions were not justified. Having confirmed that national restrictions may be applied, the Labour Court imposed a compensatory fine of € 3,000 on the company and € 4,000 on the employers’ association.


Kaj Swanljung

Janne Nurminen
Kaj Swanljung and Janne Nurminen are, respectively, Senior Counsel and Senior Associate, with Roschier in Helsinki, www.roschier.com.
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