Personal assistant’s salary payment and use of the Oima service

When it comes to paying your personal assistant’s salary, you will be assisted by payroll specialists from the Financial Management Service.

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Employer’s duties 

In the personal assistance employer model, you are your assistant’s employer and supervisor. You conclude an employment agreement with the assistant of your choice, which defines the duties, working hours and other terms of employment. 

The City of Helsinki pays your assistant’s salary on your behalf based on the information you provide. The electronic Oima system is used in the provision of information. In principle, recording working hours in the system is the employee’s responsibility. However, you must approve the hours recorded by the employee for salary payment to take place. 

You must submit to Financial Management Service only the following documents on paper format, concerning the employment relationship and assistant: 

  • employment agreement 
  • medical certificate for a sick leave of more than 3 days 
  • tax card (in case of a revised tax card, otherwise the tax information can be retrieved directly from the Finnish Tax Administration) 
  • pay group notification in accordance with the national collective agreement between Heta – Union of the Employers of Personal Assistants in Finland and Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL 
  • power of attorney for collecting the trade union contribution or unemployment fund fee 
  • notice of termination of employment. 

Contact information for counselling and payroll

Payroll contact information

We serve you by telephone Mon–Fri 9.00–15.00. Postal address: Financial Management Service, Personal Assistance, PO Box 231, 00099 City of Helsinki

How to get started with Oima  

In connection with the decision to grant personal assistance, we will send you a power of attorney template, which you can use to authorise us to make you a user of the Oima system. 

Carefully fill in the power of attorney and return it to a service point of Social Work for People with Disabilities. If you are acting as the employer on behalf of a minor, please provide the power of attorney with your own information. 

Be sure to add your email address to the power of attorney so that we can create a username for you in the service. 

Once you have returned the power of attorney, we will create a client profile for you in the Oima system. You will receive a personal registration link to the email address you have provided. 

At the time of registration, you will need to create a password and select a user role. In the Oima system, the employer’s role is “kotitalous” (household) and the personal assistant’s role is “työntekijä” (employee). The username is the email address you provided. 

At the end of the registration process, you will need to authenticate your identity with your online banking credentials. 

Once you have registered, you can log in to the service. 

Go to the Oima service(Link leads to external service) 

Please note that your personal assistant can only start work after you have registered as an employer in the service and thereby taken care of the employee’s statutory insurance. 

We will inform you by phone or letter when we have received the power of attorney and confirmed the validity of the insurance policies. 

Notification of Heta membership 

If you are a member of Heta – Union of the Employers of Personal Assistants in Finland, you must deliver a duly filled in membership notification form to Financial Management Service. A copy of your membership invoice and payment receipt must also be sent in the same connection.  

Fill in and print out the Heta membership notification form (PDF in Finnish)(Link leads to external service) 

Be sure to deliver the membership fee receipts also in the following years to Financial Management Service. 

Pay scale groups according to the Heta-JHL collective labour agreement

If you belong to the Heta union and your assistance includes tasks entitling your employee to a B1, B2 or C pay scale group, you must apply for the right to use that pay scale group. A description of tasks belonging to different pay scale groups can be found on the Heta union website (in Finnish).

See pay groups(Link leads to external service) (pdf in Finnish)

Any compensation that is higher than pay scale group A will not be granted based on your report alone, as it requires a decision by a social worker. You have to apply for the right to use the pay scale groups from a social worker, using the Heta union's pay scale group notification form. If the social worker makes a positive decision, you must submit a pay scale group notification to the financial administration service for each assistant and each pay scale group.

Reporting working hours 

As a rule, the assistant enters their hours in the Oima system and you approve them as the employer. You can also enter the working hours of your assistant in the system if you have agreed on the matter with them. However, only you can approve the hours notified by your assistant and you must do so according to the following schedule: 

  • Hours worked on days 1–15 of the month must be approved by the 18th of that month at the latest. 
  • Hours worked on days 16–31 of the month must be approved by the 3rd of the following month at the latest. 

Please note that if you do not use the Oima service and deliver a working hours sheet to payroll, the schedule is as per the following table. 

See the payroll schedule (pdf) (in Finnish) 

Allocating working hours to decisions 

The Oima payroll system uses decision identification numbers, which make it possible to allocate assistants’ working hours to the correct personal assistance decisions. Identifiers are needed when you have several personal assistance decisions in force at the same time. 

In Oima, you can also see the number of hours granted to the decision in question next to the identifier, which makes it easier to choose the right identifier. The granted assistance hours are not visible to assistants who record their hours into the system. This is due to confidentiality provisions. 

In Oima, the decision identification numbers are:  

1.1. Personal assistance = user’s basic decision 

A basic decision refers to a decision that is generally valid for the time being and intended for daily activities, leisure activities, recreational activities and social participation.  

If there are several basic decisions, they are displayed in Oima as follows:  
1.2 personal assistance – the user’s second basic decision  
1.3 personal assistance – the user’s third basic decision  

If the employer has other needs, the related positive decisions are displayed with the following identifiers:  
2.1 decision granted for the user’s work or studies  
2.2 the user’s second decision for work or studies, etc.  

3.1 decision granted for the user’s trip or other activities  
Decisions on trips and other activities are usually short-term decisions. 
3.2 the user’s second trip or other decision, etc.  
It is very important to mark the hours worked under the correct decisions, so that there are no disruptions in salary payment. The Oima system monitors the number of hours entered into the calendar by both the employee and the employer. 

If the number of entries exceeds the decision rules or hours, the system adds an alarm message to days in violation of the decision. In this case, you must check your assistant’s entries and correct any errors as you are their employer. An alarm message is displayed when the working hours exceed the total number of granted hours, when hours are marked outside of the times of day indicated in the decision or if you have two assistants doing overlapping work. 

This is done to ensure that the working hours monitoring is accurate and corresponds to the granted decisions, which in turn helps to ensure correct and timely salary payment. 

Indicating annual leaves in the Oima service 

The employee indicates their annual leave days in the Oima system by marking the days in question as “lomapäivä” (leave day). Taking leave days reduces the leave day balance. 

If there are problems with the marking of leave days, the employee must contact Financial Management Service.  

Indicating a sick leave substitute in the Oima service 

In Oima, there is no need to specify whether an assistant is a substitute or full-time assistant. The assistant who has fallen ill marks their sick leave in the hourly notification calendar of Oima, and the substitute assistant marks their work shifts in their own calendar. 

Indicating mid-week holiday hours in the Oima service   

If the employee has worked on a mid-week holiday, they mark the hours as normal working hours. The programme calculates the mid-week holiday compensation based on the indicated hours. If the employee has not worked on a mid-week holiday, no entry is made.