Minimum scope of application is 20 employees

The Act on Co-operation is applied to companies and organisations engaged in financial operations and regularly employing at least 20 persons as parties to an employment relationship.

Form of enterprise does not matter

A company engaged in financial operations refers to not only various corporation-form companies, such as limited liability companies, co-operatives and other appropriately registered independent legal persons, but also natural persons who are engaged in industrial, service or other financial operations.

The crucial factor is the nature of the actual operations, not the financial targets or the financier or owner of the operations.

The Act on Co-operation within undertakings also applies to branches, foundations and non-profit associations

In addition to independent legal persons, the Act is applied to branches of foreign companies operating in Finland, in which the number of employees in regular employment relationships is at least 20.

An organisation engaged in financial operations refers to various associations, foundations and other private law or independent public law corporations engaged in financial operations. As a rule, the provisions of the Act are also applied to non-profit, artistic, religious and other denominational communities and organisations.

The Act on Co-operation within undertakings does not apply to State agencies, municipalities or churches

Instead, central government agencies and institutions do fall within the scope of the Act on Co-operation, neither does the Act apply to the agencies and institutions of municipalities, joint mu-nicipal authorities, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, the Orthodox Church of Finland, Åland or its municipalities and joint municipal authorities.

Application will be decided on a company-specific basis 

The Act on Co-operation is applied on a company-by-company basis. This means that where a company belongs to an enterprise group or other groups of undertakings, the application of the Act is determined only by the number of the company’s own employees. If there are fewer than 20 employees, the company does not fall within the scope of the Act even if the entire enterprise group or another group of undertakings had at least 20 employees in total. (See the Labour Coun-cil’s opinion TN 1441-11).

Employment relationships valid until further notice and part-time employment relationships will also be taken into account

The number of employees in regular employment relationships also includes employees in part-time employment relationships that are valid until further notice and employees in fixed-term employment relationships.

The employment relationships are calculated on the basis of the number of employees as the number of working hours is not usually significant for co-operation-related matters.

However, when the number of employees is calculated, people who work for the company for a short period of time, in seasonal employment only or exceptionally are not taken into account. In these cases, it is not a question of employment that is part of the company’s regu-lar operations. (Distinctions have been specified in the Supreme Court’s ruling KKO 2017:86 and the Labour Council’s opinions TN 1455-14 and TN 1469-17, for example.)

Limit for administrative representation is 150 employees

The Act on Co-operation’s provisions on employee representation in the employer’s administration (employee representation in company administration) are applied only to such Finnish limited lia-bility company, co-operative or another financial association, insurance company, commercial bank, co-operative bank and savings bank, in which the number of employees in an employment relationship in Finland is regularly at least 150. This is calculated according to the principles de-scribed above.

The provisions are to be applied even if the number of employees temporarily falls below 150.