An employer may turn a full-time employment contract into a part-time contract should there exist non-temporary financial and production-related grounds for termination of the contract. Should the employer have a need of reducing the employee’s weekly or daily working hours merely temporarily, that is regarded as a lay-off, in which case the requirements for laying off an employee must be met. When the employer has such a need to reduce the work hours the employee must be laid off entirely instead of making the employment contract part-time.
When a full-time contract is turned into a part-time contract all the same requirements as in terminating the work contract on financial and production-related grounds must be met along with possible requirements set out in a collective agreement between workers’ and employer unions (työehtosopimus). Should the employer be bound by the provisions of Act on Cooperation within Undertakings, the employer must arrange co-operation negotiations (yhteistoimintaneuvottelut) before making changes to the employment contracts.
The employer must also seek out opportunities to provide other full-time work suitable for the employee as per their training and skills before making the contract part-time. In addition, the employer must seek out whether the employee can be reasonably trained to some other position in the employer’s organization instead of making the contract part-time. Should there be no other option, the employer may turn the contract into a part-time one by complying with the termination notice periods as prescribed in the Act. In this case the employee’s employment relationship continues as part-time after the notice period has passed.