The new collective agreement concerning the horticultural industry has been approved

Extra hours mandated by the competitiveness pact have been eliminated, hourly wages to go up by EUR 0.14

The new collective agreement concerning the horticultural industry has been approved for the period between 1 February 2020 and 31 January 2022.

In addition to wage increases, the new collective agreement contains numerous other amendments. Here are some of the most notable amendments for your information.

The collective agreement will be published in full at the union webpage as soon as possible.

The collective agreement will also be translated into Swedish, English and Russian.

Wage increases

The wages will be increased by an overall increase of EUR 0.14 per hour on 1 February 2020, or at the start of a subsequent pay period closest to this date, as well as on 1 February 2021, or at the start of a subsequent pay period closest to this date.

Bonuses and allowances specified in the collective agreement will be increased by a one-off increase of 3% starting from 1 February 2020.

Extra hours mandated by the competitiveness pact

In the collective agreement concerning the horticultural industry, the extra hours mandated by the competitiveness pact only applied to employees with a regular working time of 40 hours per week. Extra hours mandated by the competitiveness pact cut the unpaid leave in exchange for working longer hours.

Unpaid leave in exchange for working longer hours will be gradually restored during the agreement period:

  • Eight hours of unpaid leave in exchange for working longer hours are first restored on 1 February 2020, another eight hours in early 2021 and the last eight hours in early 2022 at the end of the agreement period.

The bonus paid instead of the unpaid leave in exchange for working longer hours is also gradually restored during the agreement period:

  • 6% will be paid starting from 1 February 2020, 0.5% starting from early 2021 and 5.5%, or the bonus preceding the competitiveness pact, starting from early 2022.

Other changes related to working time

The provision regarding on-call duties prepared during the previous agreement period has now been added to the collective agreement. The agreement concerning on-call duties shall be made in writing in advance. The minimum compensation for being on call is EUR 21/day rounded up to the next full day. It may also be locally agreed that on-call hours are compensated for as time off in lieu. The work performed during on-call hours is paid according to the hours worked.

In the future, employees with a fixed-term contract of under six months are entitled to joining a working time banking scheme. However, participation in a working time banking scheme is always voluntary to employees.

The maximum amount of overtime is no longer imposed. Instead, the maximum working time, which includes all the hours worked, will be observed in accordance with the new Working Hours Act. The amount of work, including overtime, performed by an employee shall not exceed an average of 48 hours per week over a six-month period.

The possibility to work more hours must be agreed with the shop steward or union representative.

Workplaces may now locally agree on the possibility of working additional 172 hours without overtime rates. For part-time employees, hours can be agreed in relation to working time.

A local agreement governing this matter can only be prepared by a shop steward. If the workplace has no shop steward, the agreement must be sent to the Industrial Union and Federation of Agricultural Employers for approval.

Separate guidelines for allocating additional work to employees will be drawn up.

Absences due to sickness

The policy to self-report a sickness absence is now a permanent provision in the collective agreement.

If an employee falls ill, he or she can report absent from work for no more than two days, or a maximum of six days in a year. However, on reasonable grounds, the employer may request a doctor’s certificate. Reasonable grounds can be recurrent absences due to sickness, suspected substance abuse, or other abuse affecting the employee’s ability to work.

In the future, if a child under the age of 10 falls ill, in addition to the guardian, they may also be looked after by another adult living permanently in the same household, who will be paid sick leave for a maximum of four days. A doctor’s certificate is still required for absences in case of a child’s illness.

Employees have the right to be absent for taking care of or arranging the necessary treatment for an elderly parent during a sudden illness or demobilisation situation. However, no sick leave pay is paid for this period.

Mid-week holiday compensation

A number of clarifying amendments have been made to the section in the collective agreement concerning mid-week holiday compensation. In the future, mid-week holiday compensation will also be paid in the event of a prior or following lay-off.

Employment contract and wage slip

In the future, the employment contract must always be made in writing.

If the employment contract has been previously concluded orally or the information is not contained in a written contract, the employer shall provide the employee with a written document of the main conditions of employment, no later than by the end of the first payment period.

In all cases, the employee shall be given a wage slip as referred to in the Employment Contracts Act at least once a month. The wage slip shall indicate the number of hours and amount of earnings as well the grounds for the determination of the wage, including an itemised list of any bonuses, allowances and other compensations.

Other provisions

The employee has the right to receive paid leave according to previous collective agreements, and also on their 70th birthday and on the day of the interment of ashes of a family member.

For employees working in cold environments, the employee’s own contribution to the acquisition of thermal clothing is waived. In the future, thermal clothing will be paid entirely by the employer. In addition, an amendment was made to the agreement, whereby the employer will provide the necessary protective gloves and clothing also for fixed-term employees. However, this is only for the duration of the employment.

The collective agreement contains new amendments concerning employees that are designated mentors and workplace instructors. Both tasks increase the determination of job requirement level for the employee.

Additional information:

Bargaining Specialist Riikka Vasama