The employee has a right to upon request receive a written employment certificate from the employer once the employment relationship has ended. The certificate state the duration of the employment relationship and the nature of the work. Upon the specific request of the employee, the certificate should also include an assessment of the employee’s skills and behavior as well as the reason for the termination the employment.
The employer is obliged to provide the certificate if the employee requests it within ten years from the expiry of the employment relationship. However, a certificate which mentions the employee’s skills and behavior must be requested within five years of the expiry of the employment relationship. The content of an employment certificate defined in legislation in detail. There are two kinds of certificates, the so called limited and an extensive version.
A limited certificate only states the length of the employment relationship and the nature of the work. The certificate may not include any other information. The employee is given the limited certificate unless he/she requests otherwise. The extensive certificate includes the same included in the certificate must be accurate and it must correspond with the employer’s true belief and understanding of the employee. The reference may not include anything else than what is evident from its wording.
An employee who has received a limited certificate of employment has the right to request information as the limited certificate, and in addition the reason for the termination of the employment and an assessment of the employee’s skills and behavior. The employee may request that the reason for terminating the employment, or the assessment of skills and behavior, or both, are to be mentioned in the certificate. The reason for the dismissal may e.g. be recorded as cancellation of the agreement during the trial period, termination due to financial or production-related reasons or the employee’s termination of the employment. The information an extensive certificate at a later stage. However, an employee who has requested an extensive certificate but who is unhappy with its content does not have a right to receive a new certificate with different content.