A collective agreement is an agreement between a workers’ union and the employer or an employers’ organisation. It sets out the terms of employment in a given industry that must be respected in that industry.
Collective agreements may include provisions on, for example, salaries and wages, working hours, holidays, sick pay, notice periods, etc. The agreements are industry-specific and often also tied to occupational status. The salaries and other terms of employment of public sector employees are agreed in collective agreements. A collective agreement can be normally binding or universally binding.
A normally binding collective agreement is binding on the parties that have signed the agreement. An employer who belongs to an organisation that has signed the agreement must comply with a normally binding collective agreement even if the employee is not a member of the union that signed the agreement.
A universally binding collective agreement means that even an unorganised employer must comply with at least provisions agreed in a national collective agreement that is applicable in the industry or sector in question. An independent board (Työehtosopimuksen yleissitovuuden vahvistamislautakunta) confirms whether a national collective agreement is universally binding.
The Finlex website publishes universally binding collective agreements and the decisions of the board. Agreements between central labour market organisations are also published, and compliance with them as part of the collective agreement is indicated in each collective agreement.
Read more about collective agreements in the online training library
You can also learn more about collective agreements in different industries in the online training library for working life, which is part of your member benefits. To access the courses, you must sign up to the online training library.
If you have already taken advantage of your free membership benefit and started using the service, log in and search for courses on collective agreements. If you haven’t yet signed up, you can do so in the Webinars and Courses section in the Oma+ service for our members.