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Understanding Finland's Minimum Wage and Average Salaries

In Finland, there is no statutory minimum wage. Instead, wages are determined by collective agreements (työehtosopimus in Finnish), which vary by industry. These agreements are negotiated between employer associations and trade unions, setting the minimum pay and working conditions within each sector.
Even though there isn’t a national minimum wage in Finland, understanding the wage structure is important for anyone considering working in Finland.

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In Finland, there is no statutory minimum wage. Instead, wages are determined by collective agreements (työehtosopimus in Finnish), which vary by industry. These agreements are negotiated between employer associations and trade unions, setting the minimum pay and working conditions within each sector.
Even though there isn’t a national minimum wage in Finland, understanding the wage structure is important for anyone considering working in Finland.

Minimum Wage in Different Sectors

Finland is known for its good quality of life and higher wages compared to other European countries. On average, people in Finland earn about €3,500 per month, but this can change based on the type of work, where the job is located, how difficult the job is, and the person's education and experience. Generally, a salary consists of a base amount and supplements.

The main salary can be paid every month, every hour, or as per a contract. Supplements (extra pay) can be given for working in the evening, working on a day off, or working extra hours. The extra pay can vary depending on the type of work.

Minimum Wage in Finland in the Industrial Sector

In the industrial sector, wages are outlined by collective agreements managed by organizations such as the Finnish Industrial Union (Teollisuusliitto). These agreements ensure fair compensation based on job roles, experience, and specific industry standards. 
Here are a few examples of typical wages in the industrial sector. Keep in mind that these are just examples and that wages are influenced by many different factors.

  • Entry-level positions typically start at around €2,000 per month and for example, an entry-level worker in manufacturing might earn about €2,200 per month.
  • Skilled workers such as technicians can earn between €2,500 and €3,500 per month, depending on experience and specific job responsibilities.
  • Skilled professionals such as engineers can earn between €4,000 and €6,000 per month.

 


Minimum Wage in Finland in the Hotel and Restaurant Industry

Wages in the hotel and restaurant industry are generally lower compared to the industrial sector but still provide a good standard of living.
In the hotel and restaurant industry, wages are governed by collective agreements managed by service industry unions like PAM (Service Union United). The agreements consider factors such as job type, hours worked, and other working conditions to determine fair wages for employees.
Supplements usually generate a significant part of the salary. You get a supplement for evening work (1,33€ / hour in 2024) and night work (2,25€ / hour). Pay is also increased by 100% on Sundays.

For example:

  • A waiter or waitress might earn between €1,800 and €2,200 per month, depending on experience and the location of their employment.
  • Cooks and chefs can earn between €2,200 and €3,000 per month.
  • Hotel receptionists' salaries range between 2100 and 2300€.

 

Collective Agreements and Compliance

Employers who are members of an employer association must follow the collective agreements for their industry. Even if a company is not part of the collective agreement, they are still obligated to follow the generally binding agreements to ensure fair labor practices. According to the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy, about 89 percent of workers are included in these agreements.

If there is no collective agreement, Finnish labor law says that employers have to pay a fair and reasonable wage for the work. This is usually based on what other companies in the same industry pay and advice from the right trade groups.

 

Living and Working in Finland

For those thinking about moving to Finland for work, it's important to know about the money you'll earn and how much things cost. Finland has really good public services like healthcare and schools, which are paid for by taxes. 
The cost of living in Finland can be expensive, especially in big cities like Helsinki, but the quality of life is great.

 

Tips for Foreign Workers

Learn the Language: Although many people in Finland speak English well, it can be really helpful to learn Finnish or Swedish. This can make it easier for you to fit in at work and in society.

Understand Your Rights: Make sure to learn about your rights at work according to the laws in Finland and the agreements that cover your industry. This will help you make sure that you are being treated and paid fairly.

Seek Assistance: There are many groups and services that can help people from other countries get used to living in Finland. These include government offices, non-profit groups, and local communities.

If you're thinking about working in Finland, it's important to learn about the relevant collective agreements and how the labor laws work. This will help you fully understand how the wage and benefits are determined.

For more detailed information on minimum wages in Finland, check out more information websites of the Service Union United PAM, Info Finland,  and the Industrial Union.
 

Written by

Juha Niemi

Juha works as a Marketing Manager specializing in International Marketing at Barona.


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