Foreign Workers in Finland
Work done in Finland, including remote work, is to be insured in Finland, regardless of the worker’s or employer’s nationality.
For foreign workers working in an employment relationship in Finland, the employer must take out
- pension insurance under the Employees Pensions Act, and
- other statutory social security insurance.
Earnings-related pension accrued in Finland is paid out to foreign workers to any country in the world. When they leave Finland, their pension contributions are not returned to them. Instead, they will receive a pension from Finland in due time. Earnings-related pensions must always be claimed.
Exemptions from the obligation to insure
If a worker posted to Finland from abroad has been granted an A1 certificate on social security from abroad, the Finnish employer does not take out earnings-related pension insurance for the foreign worker. In such a case, the worker’s employer under labour law is foreign and must insure the worker and pay the statutory social security contributions to the country which issued the A1 certificate.
In other words, if a Finnish employer receives foreign workers who are employed by a foreign employer, the Finnish employer is not under obligation to insure such workers since there is no employment relationship between the worker and the Finnish employer (this requires that the worker has an A1 certificate issued by a foreign authority).
A worker cannot simultaneously be a worker posted by a foreign employer and employed by a Finnish employer. If you, as a Finnish employer, have signed an employment relationship with a foreign worker, contact the Finnish Centre for Pensions or the authority that issued the certificate.
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As a foreign employer you are not to take out pension insurance for the workers you post to Finland if
- your worker is subject to the laws of another country based on the EU Regulations on social security and they have an A1 certificate,
- your worker is subject to the laws of another country based on a social security agreement and they have a certificate of coverage,
- your worker is posted to Finland from a non-agreement country for a maximum of two years, or
- you have been granted an exemption to take out insurance in Finland.
If the above requirements are not met, you (the foreign employer) must take out pension insurance in Finland for your foreign worker.
A worker posted to Finland from an EU or EEA country, the United Kingdom or Switzerland may be covered by the social security of the sending country, in which case earnings-related pension contributions and other social security contributions are paid only to the sending country.
Workers posted from social security agreement countries (the USA, India, Israel, Chile, Canada, Quebec, China, South Korea or Japan) may be covered by the social security laws of the sending country. In that case, the earnings-related pension contributions must be paid to the sending country only.
The contents of the social security agreements vary from one country to another, so it is possible that the posting foreign employer may be under obligation to take out other statutory social security insurance also in Finland.
Posted foreign workers are always in an employment relationship with the sending country’s employer and cannot simultaneously work for a Finnish employer. The foreign employer is under obligation to take out insurance.
Foreign posted employers must have a certificate (Certificate A1 in the EU) issued by the authorities of the sending country. The certificate attests which country’s social security the worker is covered by.
As a rule, workers who work in Finland and in one or more EU Member States are insured in the country in which the worker resides. A worker who works in several countries may have one or several employer is different countries. Workers who work in several several countries must have an A1 certificate that attests to which country the social security contributions are to be paid to. The worker must apply for the A1 certificate from the authorities in the country in which they reside. All employers must pay the statutory social security contributions only to the country that issued the A1 certificate.
If the worker works in Finland and in a country outside the EU, contact the Finnish Centre for Pensions and the authorities in the country of work. In such cases, the insurance obligation may be divided between several countries of work.
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If a foreign employer operating outside the EU/EEA countries and social security agreement countries posts a foreign worker to work in Finland for a maximum of two years, the worker is not to be insured in Finland.
The following requirements must be met:
- the worker is not covered by Finnish social security laws when the posting begins, and
- the worker is not covered by Finnish laws based on the EU Regulations on social security or a social security agreement.
If the posting lasts for more than two years, the Finnish Centre for Pensions can exempt, upon application, the foreign employer from the obligation to take out insurance under the Employees Pensions Act for a maximum of five years. This exemption procedure does not apply to a posted worker whose insurance is subject to the EU Regulations on social security or the rules of a social security agreement.
The exemption can be granted only if the employer has arranged other pension insurance for the posted worker.
Apply for the exemption from the Finnsih Centre for Pensions.
If the employment contract is made between the Finnish employer and a foreign worker, the worker cannot be a posted worker from abroad and can thus not be exempted from insurance under Finnish earnings-related pension acts.
Other uses of the A1 certificate
The A1 certificate can be used also for other purposes than to attest which country’s social security applies. Among other things, the Contractor’s Liability Act requires that the social security of workers posted to Finland has to be sorted out. The authority that enforces the Act (The Regional State Administrative Agencies, AVI) instructs that the obligation to sort out social security can be met by presenting an A1 certificate. The industrial safety authority provides more information on what type of certificate is enough to meet the requirements.
Many construction sites require that a foreign worker presents an A1 certificate before giving the worker access to the construction site. This demand may be based on the requirements of the Contractor’s Liability Act or the praxis of construction site operators.
Foreign employers operating in Finland should make sure that their workers posted to Finland apply for a Finnish ID number as soon as possible after arriving in Finland.
Having a Finnish ID number makes it much easier to arrange things in Finland. Even if the worker would not need the ID number to handle things themselves, it makes a difference for their social security.
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