The Speaker directs parliamentary work together with the Speaker's Council in accordance with the provisions in the Constitution and Parliament's Rules of Procedure. The Speaker is assisted by two Deputy Speakers.
The Speaker of the Parliament during parliamentary year 2018 was Paula Risikko. First deputy speaker was Mauri Pekkarinen and second deputy speaker was Tuula Haatainen.
Plenary sessions are chaired by the Speaker or a Deputy Speaker, who grants the floor for speeches and replies, makes voting proposals and decides on the final order of business. The Speaker and the Deputy Speakers also chair Parliament's most important organs, the Speaker's Council and the Office Commission.
Other tasks include checking the record of plenary sessions and signing Parliament's responses and communications.
The Speaker, the Deputy Speakers and the committee chairpersons form the Speaker's Council. Its duties centre around work in plenary session.
The Speaker's Council issues instructions on procedures to be followed in plenary sessions (regarding such things as referring a matter to a committee or taking the floor), approves plenary session plans and decides whether to grant leaves of absence from parliamentary work. It also issues general instructions regarding committee work and serves as an advisory body to the Speaker.
The first plenary session held each year is chaired by the oldest Member of Parliament until the Speaker and Deputy Speakers are elected. Before taking office, the Speaker and the Deputy Speakers make the following solemn affirmation before Parliament:
"I, (name), affirm that in my office as Speaker I shall to the best of my ability defend the rights of the people of Finland and of Parliament in accordance with the Constitution."
The Speaker and Deputy Speakers elected in the last session of the electoral term continue to serve until a general election has been held.
If the Speaker or a Deputy Speaker dies or resigns, a replacement is elected immediately. If the Speaker or a Deputy Speaker is no longer capable of performing duties, the Speaker's Council can propose the election of a temporary replacement.