JHL wins landmark case in relation to fixed-term employment
JHL (12.01.2012 - Juhani Artto)
The Supreme Court ruled in favour of
the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors (JHL) in a highly
significant case on Wednesday. The dispute
concerned the use of fixed-term employment in a job that was financed by the
Structural Fund appropriations that were allocated annually to the
According to the Supreme Court, this form of financing does not justify the
use of fixed-term employment contracts when the tasks involved were of a
A public sector organization (Pirkanmaan ely-keskus) employed the
employee concerned in December 2000 who was primarily engaged in handling
applications connected to
EU funds and national funds providing support to companies. The employment
continued in practice without interruption until February 2006 and consisted
eight fixed-term employment contracts.
The Supreme Court pointed out that the legislation concerning the EU's
Structural Fund nowhere specifies that only fixed-term employees should be
employed when it comes to the
Fund's allocations. The employer's interpretation was therefore in conflict
the EU Directive on fixed-term employees and the framework agreement on
fixed-term employees signed by European employer and trade union
organizations, the Supreme Court ruled.
The employer had argued that the employment relation had been cut as the EU
technical support appropriations had decreased. But, in fact, neither
these appropriations nor the tasks involved had diminished. Instead the
had been handed over to another fixed-term employee.
Earlier, lower level courts had come to the same conclusions as the
Supreme Court. The employer was ordered to pay the employee EUR 24.000 in
pay for the period of notice and by way of compensation for the damage
to the employee.