Right to direct - Alasivu

The employer’s unilateral right of supervision is limited by the applicable collective agreement and the employee’s personal employment contract.

The employer’s right to decide on matters at the workplace is known as the right to supervise work. When an employer exercises the right to direct, the following principles must be observed:

  • the right to direct only applies to working hours
  • the employer may not order employees to do anything that is illegal or contrary to good conduct
  • the physical and professional capacity of the employee to perform the tasks assigned must be taken into account
  • any changes significantly affecting the employee’s status must be undertaken through negotiations under the codetermination procedure, and
  • the employee’s privacy must not be violated.

Employees are required to do their work diligently and to follow the employer’s instructions. The employer is entitled to supervise employees during working hours. Supervision may be undertaken in a number of ways. In practice, an employee may work quite independently and supervision may consist of simply examining the results of the work.

Changes in terms and conditions of employment must be agreed upon

There may be provisions in an employee’s employment contract that limit the right to direct. If, for example, an employee’s working hours, job duties and workplace are not entered in the employment contract, the employer must give the employee a written statement of them. This must be given not later than the end of the first pay period. Generally, an employer may not unilaterally change any terms and conditions of employment agreed upon with the employee or described in the written statement referred to above; changes must be negotiated.


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