Fixed-term temporary agency work

An agency worker’s employment contract is always with the agency. Agency workers can be employed by several temporary agencies at the same time.

Agency workers have the right to know the reason for a fixed-term contract.

The basic premise of the Finnish Employment Contracts Act is that employment contracts are in force indefinitely unless there is a valid reason to stipulate a contract of a fixed duration. Employees always have the right to request a fixed-term employment contract. However, an employer can only stipulate a fixed duration for an employment contract on the grounds specified in the Employment Contracts Act.

The Employment Contracts Act contains no special provisions on the length of employment contracts in the context of temporary agency work. In other words, the same rules on the grounds of restricting the duration of a contract apply to temporary agency work as to other kinds of employment relationships.

Reasons for stipulating a fixed duration for a contract must be provided in writing

The reasons for stipulating a fixed duration for an employment relationship must always be provided in writing. In cases where the reasons are not recorded in an employment contract, agency workers can ask their employer to provide a separate document laying down the reasons, even if their employment relationship is to last for less than one month.

The employer’s explanation of the reasons for insisting on a fixed-term contract must include information about the user company’s motivations for hiring the worker, the length or estimated length of the assignment and an estimate of other similar work available through the temporary agency. The validity of any reasons provided for restricting the duration of an employment relationship is primarily evaluated on the basis of the temporary agency’s circumstances. Temporary agencies can have agreements with several user companies and therefore be in a position to offer work on a continuous basis in different companies. This is why a fixed-term contract cannot be stipulated on the basis of the length of the user company’s assignment alone.