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JUHANI ARTTO
HOMEPAGE 2013

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High Court's decision improves the status of agency labour

Helsinki (25.01.2012 - Juhani Artto) On Tuesday the High Court made a decision that clearly improves the status of agency labour, says Katarina Murto, a bargaining expert at the union confederation SAK.

The decision rejects the legality of the common practice of manpower agencies to make fixed-term employment agreements based on open-ended assignments procured from user companies.

The High Court decision upholds the principle, written into the legislation, that fixed-term employment agreements can be made only in cases where the employee is needed only for a certain or specific period of time. In the case, now settled by the High Court, the need was deemed to be open-ended at the moment the employment agreement was signed.

The case was taken up in 2009 by the Service Union United PAM when they initiated legal proceedings. The dispute itself dates back to 2006 when a rank and file member of PAM was told that his/her fixed-term employment agreement would expire in two weeks because of the user company's announcement to end the assignment.