Civil service law

Nainen ja mies katsovat tablettia. Maskot / Gorilla.

Civil service law is a key branch of law in terms of the management of state personnel. It includes the regulations governing the general legal status of civil servants, i.e. their rights and duties. Civil service law regulates the state's role as an employer.

Duties involving the exercise of public authority can primarily be performed only by civil servants in a public office relationship. For this reason, such a relationship is the chief form of service relationship used for government employees. Public office relationships are governed by specific responsibilities laid down in the Constitution (731/1999) as pertaining to holders of public office.

According to the State Civil Servants Act (750/1994), a public office relationship is a service relationship governed by public law, in which the state is the employer and the civil servant is the performer of the duties in question. A public office relationship is formed based on the required, unilateral administrative action involving a recommendation to recruit, i.e. an appointment. The duties of civil servants cannot be agreed separately.

The legal status of employees with an employment contract is regulated by the Employment Contracts Act (55/2001).


Further information

Policy Brief
Long-term development and future prospects of civil-service ethics in Finland

The state of civil servants ethics and morals – citizens’ survey results, October 2017
State of Civil Service Ethics in Finland, August 2017
Recommendations of the Committee, 17 June 2014
Guideline: Outside employment of public officials, March 2017
Guideline: Post government employment waiting period agreement and organisation of duties at the beginning and end of employment, June 2017
Guideline: Hospitality, benefits and gifts,  August 2010
Comparative Study on the Public-service Ethics of the EU Member States (publication 13 December 2006)
Values to be part of the daily job (publication 30 August 2005)
Values in the daily job - civil servant's ethics (publication 14 January 2005)  
Picture: Values into practise, May 2015
Civil Service Ethics (publication 31 March 2000)
TI - Transparency International
OECD Ethics and Corruption in the Public Sector
Public Sector Integrity: A framework for assessment