FAQ A21-A23 and other mysterious payscales, taxes etc.

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Hank W.
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FAQ A21-A23 and other mysterious payscales, taxes etc.

Post by Hank W. » Mon Nov 03, 2003 12:16 pm

1. PAY
If you encounter a Finnish job ad the salary might be a bit vague. There are several ways to inform it - and then you need to do the legwork.

sop.muk = sopimuksen mukaan = negotiable (please note that union agreements are universal generally, so you can't get/go below 'union book')

työeht.sop = työehtosopimuksen mukaan = union agreement salary. Depending on the union the agreements with payscales and rates are on the web. Some easier and some harder to find. And in some cases which union agreement to folow is a question - though sometimes it is said.

A21-A23 = Government payscales. These can be found on the web at the Ministry of Finance http://www.vm.fi/ by searching 'palkkaustaulukot' (its an asp site so direct linking doesn't work). Don't giggle yourself silly, they do not have a comma in the wrong spot, they are lower than someone might expect. A- is for people with 'office' or a tenure etc. then there are different scales such as C and L for different types of salaried employees as well. Counties have their own payscales - again available at each county's own website.

tulospalkkio = no salary, on commission.

kuukausipalkka = monthly salary
tuntipalkka = hourly wages

If you ask a Finn how much he makes a year (apart from being a cultural gaffe) - you'll get a puzzled look, as he really doesn't think of it that way. Wages/salaries are understood "per month" (as are rents etc.)

2. TAXES
The salaries given are usually gross (grossly small some may say) and then you need to calculate what you get 'in hand' net. You can do this (and get acquainted with the Finnish tax system) at http://www.vero.fi
There are forms and a guide in English, and also a tax calculator that is in Finnish. As a thumb rule, if you calculate your municipal flat tax at 20% and then you can calculate the income tax straight off the scale so that'll give you a very rough ballpark.

3.UNEMPLOYMENT
Of course, nobody ever thinks of this before they need it. Ok, there are two paths you can go by, but on the long run the base line is you have to do something yourself. Firstly, you have to join an unemployment fund. This usually comes in the form of joining a union. If you are studying in Finland you can join a union usually a student member, so then the time you work say on holidays counts towards the magical 10 months employment requirement. Yes, 10 months. Before having worked for 10 months in Finland you will receive a "go away" at any counter asking for any benefits. Finnish unemployment is dual "base" paid by KELA + "salary tested" you get from your fund. No fund = just base = not much of an income.

Ok, the second path is just to join a unemployment fund, as some people really have a problem in paying up 1-2% of their income (again, depending on the union, I for example have a flat fee 20€/mo... ). There is a 'private' fund http://www.ytk.fi (in English + few other languages) which explains the system. They have a flat yearly fee, 50€ annually in 2003 (which is tax deductable). Now remember if you join this fund and then get into trouble they are not a union so no legal advice/help/perks available.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Cheers, Hank W.
sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.

FAQ A21-A23 and other mysterious payscales, taxes etc.

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