How to employ a Ukrainian in Finland

Blogs April 7, 2022

The EU has introduced a directive on temporary protection for refugees fleeing Ukraine. The Council Decision entered into force on 4 March 2022, leaving the Member States with discretion to determine the exact target group for protection. In Finland, protection was granted even to a wider group of Ukrainian refugees than the EU-level decision. The decision will remain in force until 4 March 2023.

Due to the current situation in Ukraine, the number of Ukrainians arriving in Finland is growing rapidly. The Ministry of the Interior estimates that at least 40 000–80 000 refugees may arrive in Finland from Ukraine this year. With this, the number of employment contracts signed with Ukrainians will also increase. People with temporary protection are able to work without restrictions in Finland. They can also register as jobseekers at the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Services).

Here is an overview of the actions an employer should consider when hiring a Ukrainian:

1. Make sure that the employee has the right to work in Finland

The employer is obligated to ensure that the foreign employee has the right to work in Finland. The right to work can be checked on the residence permit card. If the employee does not have a valid residence permit or if their right to work is restricted, for example to work in another profession, the employer cannot employ them until they have been issued the appropriate residence permit.

In addition to temporary protection, those who have fled Ukraine can also apply for other residence permits. These include an employee's residence permit and certificate for seasonal work. Ukrainian biometric passport holders will have visa-free access to the Schengen area and can stay for 90 days but a passport alone does not entitle them to work.

2. Prepare and sign the employment contract

The employment contract shall be, in addition to its original language, translated to a language the employee understands (e.g., Ukrainian, English, Russian).

Note that people with temporary protection must also be treated equally with other employees in terms of pay and other working conditions. If the employment contract is for a fixed term, the reason for the fixed term and the termination date or estimated termination date must also be included in the employment contract. Please consider if it is necessary to have language skills in Finnish, Swedish or even English for the work you have so that you don’t build unnecessary obstacles for hiring.

3. Ask for the employee's bank account number

The salary must be paid into the bank account indicated by the employee. With each paycheck, provide a pay slip showing the employee's salary, allowances, benefits, taxes, and other statutory contributions as you provide to other employees.

Salary can only be paid in cash if there is a compelling reason, for example, if the employee does not have a bank account. For salary paid in cash, the employer must have a receipt or other proof of payment signed by the employee.

4. Make a report on foreign labour

The employer must make a report of a foreign employee when the employer hires an employee who is not an EU/EEA or Swiss national. No report is required if the employee recruited is an EU citizen or a family member treated as such. The report can be made electronically, for example, through the Enter Finland service for Employers (link).

In addition, the employer must inform the shop steward and the occupational safety and health representatives of the workplace of the foreigner's name and the applicable collective agreement. For this purpose, a form can be used which can be found on the occupational safety and health website of the Regional State Administration.

5. Give the foreign employee a proper induction

Give guidance to the employee about working conditions, the labour law standards applicable to them, the safety and health care of employees, and fire safety requirements. Again, a language that the employee understands is important for a competent induction.

6. Store information on the foreign workers and their right to work at the workplace

The data to be stored by the employer must include the employee's personal data and the basis of the employee's right to work.

Store the information on your foreign employees and their working duties at the workplace so that the occupational safety and health authorities may inspect them if needed. The information must be kept for four (4) years after the foreign worker's employment ends. The employer may choose how the information is stored, but it must be easily accessible to the labour inspector if necessary.


Fondia's legal experts are always ready to answer your questions about employing foreigners and to help with other legal issues. We therefore encourage you to take the opportunity for a 15 min free initial consultation and to speak to one of our lawyers. You can book a call at a time convenient to you by clicking on this Calendly link.

More information can be found on the following websites:

European Commission


Finnish Immigration Service

Regional State Administrative Agency

Occupational Safety and Health Administration