End of a fixed-term employment contract

A fixed-term employment contract ends when the term comes to an end or when the task has been completed. A fixed-term contract need not be terminated and there is no period of notice. If the length of the fixed-term employment relationship has not been determined according to the calendar and its end depends on a factor that is known to the employer but not the employee, the employer must let the employee know about the expected end of the employment relationship well in advance.

A fixed-term employment contract cannot, primarily, be terminated. However, it can be terminated to end in the middle of the employment contract, if the right to terminate has been expressly agreed upon. If a fixed-term employment contract is terminated by the employer, it must have grounds for the termination.

The parties to the employment contract may also agree on the termination of a fixed-term employment contract, even if the right to terminate has not been agreed upon in advance. What is to be noted in such cases is the agreement’s effect on unemployment security.

Another exception is a fixed-term employment contract made for a period that lasts for more than five years, which can be terminated according to the same grounds and procedures as an employment contract valid until further notice after five years have passed since the contract was made.

An employment contract is always valid until further notice, unless expressly agreed to be of a fixed term. An employment contract can be valid for a fixed term if the employer has a justified reason for it, if the fixed term of contract is based on the employee’s initiative or if it concerns work carried out after retirement age. The Union of Professional Engineers in Finland recommends that the basis for fixed-term employment be stated in the employment contract.

Justified reasons include substitution, a fixed-term project, performance of non-recurring work, the seasonal nature of the work, an internship, or some other reason related to the employer’s operations or the work to be carried out. If the employer’s need for a worker is permanent, there are no grounds for a fixed-term employment contract.

A fixed-term employment contract can be agreed with a long-term unemployed person without a justified reason. A person is considered to be long-term unemployed when they have been an unemployed job seeker without a break for the preceding 12 months. In such cases, the maximum length of the fixed-term employment contract can be 12 months. The employment contract can be renewed twice, as long as the combined duration of the agreements does not exceed a year.

If a trial period has been agreed upon in the employment contract, then the employment relationship can be cancelled during the trial period. For more information on cancellation of the employment contract during the trial period.