A new collective agreement has been made for the commercial sector, and it will be valid from 1 February 2018 to 31 January 2020.

The agreement for the commercial sector applies to the Collective Agreement for the Commercial Sector, as well as to the Collective Agreement Protocol for Salaried IT Employees in the Commercial Sector (hereafter referred to as the Collective Agreement Protocol for Salaried ICT Employees), the Collective Agreement for Warehouse and Transportation Supervisors and the Collective Agreement for Retail Supervisors.

Pay solution

All full-time employees and salaried personnel who are in an employment relationship on 31 March 2018 will have their monthly salaries increased by EUR 42 and their hourly wages increased by EUR 0.26 as of 1 April 2018. For part-time employees receiving a pro rata monthly salary, the increase will be granted in proportion to the working time. The pay will be increased in the same manner on 1 April 2019.

The salaries and wages according to pay scales (the minimum salaries and wages for the sector) will be increased by 1.6% at the same times.

The monthly salaries of retail supervisors will be increased at equivalent times by 1.6%.

The personal salaries and pay scale salaries of warehouse and transportation supervisors will be increased by 1.6% as of 1 April 2018.

Working time bonuses will not be increased during the term of the agreement.

Pay scale tables for the Collective Agreement for the Commercial Sector, for ICT personnel and for warehouse and transportation supervisors

Changes to text (the changes will take effect as of 1 April 2018)

A considerable number of changes were made to the Collective Agreement for the Commercial Sector, and the key changes are listed here.

According to the new night work entry, the employee’s consent is required before night work can be assigned. However, the employer may instruct employees to work at night without consent if the night shift cannot otherwise be staffed.

As a consequence of this, the collective agreement will also contain new recommendations on work ergonomics, which intends to take the perspectives of labour protection and occupational health and safety into consideration when night work is assigned. The provisions applying to absence due to illness were also updated regarding “self-certification” in the context of night work when health services are not available in the evenings, at night, at the weekend or on public holidays.

The key changes applying to arranging working time include granting the employer the right to decide on introducing the mid-week public holiday system rather than requiring a mutual agreement. Similarly, employees can earn up to 7 days of annual leave under the annual leave system, in contrast to the current 6.5 days.

A provision on the method for handling the principles for offering additional work was also entered into the collective agreement, as well as a provision requiring the employee to review at least every six months the actual weekly working time of employees contracted to work less than 37.5 hours per week. The review must provide justification for any significant deviations from the working time agreed in the employment contract.

An agreement was made to set the maximum duration of the trial period at 4 months. However, the trial period may be extended as a result of absence due to illness or family leave. In deviation from the other changes to the text, this provision can be applied to employment relationships that began on 1 February 2018.

The substantial language skills bonus, which applies particularly to specialist stores, will decrease from the current five per cent to three per cent. However, this change cannot lead to a reduction in the language bonus for employees who have received it in accordance with the applicable provision on 31 March 2018.

The solution also includes new opportunities to agree on flexible working hours, an averaging period lasting 27–52 weeks, a weekly rest period, work on Sundays in conjunction with annual leave and taking care of uniforms.

Collective agreements for supervisors

There are fewer changes to the texts concerning supervisors. The most significant changes apply to the possibility of extending the trial period in the event of absences and the possibility of agreeing on a notice period of at least one month rather than 14 days.

In the future, supervisors will also have the option to elect their own shop steward and labour protection delegate from among their number.

Other agreements

The labour market organisations have agreed on a “Learn and Earn” summer trainee programme for 2018 and 2019.

Agreement on the Learn and Earn summer trainee programme for 2018 and 2019.

In addition, the labour market organisations will maintain their working groups to reform the remuneration system. The working group is committed to evaluating the effect of Sunday bonuses and other working time bonuses on the sector, as well as opportunities to integrate these into overall pay.

A separate working group will assess and implement the necessary reforms to the provisions of the agreement on shop stewards and the labour protection co-operation agreement.

A new digital commerce working group has also been set up to evaluate the need for changes as part of the transformation triggered by accelerating international trade and digital development.

Similarly, a new supervisors’ working group will evaluate the potential need to change the working conditions for supervisors in the commercial sector.

The schedule for the completion of the online and printed versions of the collective agreement will be announced at a later date.