Obligation to provide insurance
Employers are obliged to insure their employees against work-related accidents and occupational diseases. The employer must take out an insurance policy if the wages and salaries paid, or agreed to be paid, for the work commissioned in a calendar year exceed 1,300 euros (1,200 euros in 2018).
Both the work commissioned and the worker must fulfil the preconditions laid down in the Workers’ Compensation Act (TyTAL) (When you are insured).
Earnings refer to pay, fees or other remuneration paid for the work performed. The definition of earnings is given in TyTAL.
Whether the threshold for the insurance obligation is met depends on the employer and the calendar year: all work commissioned by the employer during the calendar year is taken into account and the wages and salaries paid, or agreed to be paid, are totalled. If it is clear from the outset that the agreed earnings will exceed 1,300 euros (1,200 euros in 2018), the employer must take out the insurance before the work begins. An insurance policy cannot be taken retrospectively.
If the earnings for the work commissioned do not exceed 1,300 euros (1,200 euros in 2018) for the calendar year, the employer does not have to take out the compulsory insurance. However, the employer may choose to take out a voluntary insurance policy.
The central government has no duty to take out insurance. Instead, the Treasury processes occupational accidents and diseases occurring to central government employees and pays compensation from government funds. The compensations are paid in accordance with TyTAL.
Other public bodies, such as municipalities, joint municipal authorities and parishes, have the same duty to take out insurance as private sector employers.
In order for the employer to meet the insurance obligation laid down in law, the workers’ compensation insurance must be taken out before the work begins. The insurance policy must be taken from an insurance company which, under Finnish law, has the right to engage in this type of insurance business.
TVK supervises the compliance with the insurance obligation. Negligence will lead to sanctions pursuant to relevant legislation.
The employee is always entitled to compensation for an occupational accident or disease, even when the employer’s insurance obligation has been waived or the employer has failed to take out insurance in accordance with law. The claim is processed and the compensation paid by the Workers’ Compensation Center (TVK).
The insurance obligation may be based on in acts other than TyTAL. Certain groups of individuals, such as informal carers, are entitled to workers’ compensation insurance under TyTAL, even though they do not work in an employment relationship. In these cases, the insurance obligation is based on separate statutes (in Finnish).
Provisions on accidents that occur during practical assignments, internships and similar periods of study are laid down in the Act on compensation for injury or illness occurred in education-related conditions comparable to work (laki opiskeluun liittyvissä työhön rinnastettavissa olosuhteissa syntyneen vamman tai sairauden korvaamisesta 460/2015). Under the Act on accident compensation for persons in certain penal, welfare and nursing institutions (laki eräisiin rangaistus-, huolto- ja hoitolaitoksiin otettujen henkilöiden tapaturmakorvauksesta 894/1946), persons residing in welfare and penal institutions must be insured against accidents occurring during work that makes up a part of the care programme.
Where the insurance obligation is based on acts other than TyTAL, these insurances are not deemed to be the compulsory insurances laid down in TyTAL.