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Going to work for the summer? Check this!


  • Employment contract
  • Labour law
  • Salary

Are you heading off to work for the summer or starting your first job? Great – they’ll give you important work experience for the future at a young age. Don’t forget to familiarise yourself with your rights and obligations, and those of your employer, so you can get the most out of your job.

1. Always make a written employment contract 

You should always agree on the terms and conditions of your employment relationship in writing. It is difficult to prove what has been agreed orally afterwards if you and your employer disagree at some point about what you have agreed. A written agreement makes it easy to check what has been agreed.

2. Agree on at least these in your employment contract  

  • When does the employment relationship start and end? Is the employment contract of indefinite or fixed term?
  • What are your duties?
  • What are your working hours?
  • Where will the work be carried out and is remote working possible?
  • What is the basis for determining your salary, how much is paid and when is it paid?
  • What collective agreement applies to the employment relationship?

If you also agree to a performance-related bonus or the right to take time off in the summer, for example, you should include this in your contract. 

When an employee works more than 12 hours in four consecutive weeks, the employer must provide the employee with a written statement of the main terms and conditions of employment, even if there is no written contract.

Read more about employment contracts.

3. You have the right to an orientation

The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to familiarise workers with the work, working conditions, methods, equipment and safe working practices. Orientation must also be provided for summer work and for shorter periods of work.

Orientation helps you to carry out your work as smoothly and safely as possible. If you feel that your orientation has been inadequate, you should definitely raise the matter with your supervisor and ask for further training. If necessary, you can also discuss the situation with your health and safety representative.

4. Check your pay slips carefully

The employer must give the employee a payslip every time he or she is paid. The pay slip must show at least:

  • The basis for determining the wages paid
  • The amount of pay
  • Hours worked and the amount of the hourly rate of pay, if the employee is paid on an hourly basis
  • Any supplements, such as Sunday pay or evening pay 
  • Amount of withholding tax and other deductions from pay

You should check the payslip carefully as soon as you receive it. If you notice any errors in the salary you have been paid, take the matter up with your employer immediately. This will make it easier to correct errors and ambiguities than if you have to wait a long time to come back to them.

For more information on pay, click here.

5. ummer jobs usually accumulate holiday days too

In principle, an employee accumulates annual leave during the employment relationship. However, in many cases, summer work does not involve taking annual leave during the employment relationship, but the accumulated leave is paid out as holiday pay at the end of the employment relationship. Remember to check your latest payslip to make sure that holiday pay has been paid! Also note that in some sectors, holiday pay may be paid with each salary. In this case, the paid holiday compensation must appear on each pay slip.

Read more about annual leave.

6. Ask for a work certificate 

When the employment relationship has ended, the employee has the right to request a written certificate of employment. You should always ask for it, as it will certainly be useful when you apply for other jobs in the future.

The so-called short certificate of employment only tells you the duration of the employment relationship and the job you are doing. The extended certificate also gives the reason for the termination of employment and the employer’s assessment of the employee’s work skills and behaviour. The employer may not issue a long form certificate to an employee unless the employee explicitly requests it.

The assessments to be recorded in the certificate must be truthful. Please note, however, that you are not entitled to a different certificate, even if the employer’s assessment is not to your liking.

7. Ask a recommender for future reference

If your employment relationship has been going well, you can ask your supervisor if he or she could be your future reference, in addition to your work certificate. A referee is someone you can refer to a potential new employer. At the recruitment stage, with your consent, they can call your referee to ask what kind of employee you are. The referee can tell you about your skills, your strengths and the jobs you have done.

Remember this too: join an unemployment fund! 

It’s worth thinking about joining an unemployment fund as soon as you start your first summer or part-time job. If you later become unemployed or are laid off, you can claim earnings-related daily allowance as a member of the unemployment fund. You cannot join the unemployment fund when you are unemployed, which is why it is important to anticipate and join when you are in paid employment. 

One of the conditions for receiving an earnings-related daily allowance is that you must be in employment. This means that you must have been working before becoming unemployed. Summer and part-time jobs also count towards the work requirement, so for many young people it is already worthwhile to join the fund.

In autumn 2024, the length of the working condition will be extended due to the current change in the law. It is therefore even more important to join the unemployment fund as soon as possible. Then you will be able to count all the work you have done towards your working life and be covered by income support.

The amount of the earnings-related daily allowance depends on the salary you received before you became unemployed or laid off. On average, it is about twice the amount paid by Kela.

Find out more about the YTK Unemployment Fund, which is open to all employees!

Our Work Life Guide provides comprehensive information about your employment relationship. Read more!