The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has urged Finland to re-evaluate its child home care allowance system in order to promote the labour market integration of immigrant mothers.
The OECD stated yesterday that the allowance system undermines the labour market position of women, thus also affecting the integration of immigrant children.
Finland, it pointed out, has over the past quarter of a century witnessed one of the fastest growth rates in the migrant population in the entire OECD. Meanwhile, the gap between the labour market outcomes of the native and foreign-born populations has widened and low-skills employment opportunities have decreased, making labour market integration increasingly challenging.
“Women, in particular, are struggling to integrate; many are locked into inactivity and face incentives to stay at home,” it said in a press release.
“Women eligible for the home child care allowance may find that staying at home is as financially advantageous as engaging in training or paid employment. The OECD recommends that the incentives engendered by these policies be re-examined.”
The results of its assessment of the Finnish integration policy were unveiled in Helsinki on Wednesday by Mari Kiviniemi, a deputy secretary general at the OECD, and Jari Lindström (BR), the Minister of Employment.
“Policy needs to be to do more to support the early integration of immigrant women,” stressed Kiviniemi.
The OECD highlighted that if women fail to learn the Finnish language and integrate into the Finnish society, it may also have a negative impact on the language skills and learning outcomes of their children and, at worst, lead to social exclusion.
Schools, it added, should devise ways to supplement the digital means of communicating with parents to foster interaction with immigrant households.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi