The penalty system of the Act on Co-operation is partly built, in addition to indemnification discussed above, on the foundation of criminal law.
For violations other than those leading to indemnification, the decreed penalty is fines. The liability for penalties only applies to the employer or the employer’s representative and always requires intent or negligence.
With regard to obligations related to continuous dialogue, punishability requires, in addition to the above, that the employer has not remedied its practices that the Co-operation Ombudsman has already determined to be in violation of the provisions of the Act. The Co-operation Ombudsman issues a written request that always includes a deadline: by remedying the errors and shortcomings identified in the request by this deadline, the employer may still avoid penalties.
Acts punishable without the Co-operation Ombudsman’s request include negligence associated with change negotiations that does not fall within the scope of the indemnification penalty described above. These include, for example, errors related to the timing or parties of change negotiations, shortcomings in the provision of the negotiation proposal or information as well as negligence related to negotiations and their content.
A party that fails to observe or violates the obligation to provide information in connection with a business transfer, merger or division can also be deemed to have committed a violation of the co-operation obligation. The violation of certain rights of the employee representative is also punishable.
For the practices of the employer or the employer’s representative, the penalty is imposed on the person whose obligations have been neglected by the act or negligence. The factors taken into account in the assessment are the person’s position, the nature and extent of their duties and authorisations and their contribution to the emergence and continuation of the unlawful state of affairs.