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Hiring Practices in Finland

The Act on the Protection of Privacy in Working Life sets specific provisions on the processing of personal data of employees and applies also, as appropriate, to job applicants.

The employer is only allowed to process personal data directly necessary for the employee’s employment relationship. No exceptions can be made to this requirement, even with the employee’s consent. Questions asked in a job interview shall be limited only to information relevant for the performance of the work in question taking into consideration the nature of the work. Specific questions directed, for example, at the applicant’s health, marital status or family relations are, in general, forbidden.

The employer shall collect the employee’s personal data primarily from the employee him/herself. In order to collect personal data from elsewhere, the employer must obtain the employee’s express consent. However, consent is not required when an authority discloses information to the employer enabling the latter to fulfil a statutory duty or when the employer acquires personal credit data or information from the criminal record in order to establish the employee’s reliability.

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