The Finnish government has presented a proposal to settle its protracted dispute with trade unions over measures to reduce the risks businesses take when hiring new employees.
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) announced yesterday the government has introduced four revisions to the legislative proposal at the heart of the dispute, which would allow small businesses to terminate employees for personal reasons.
“What’s missing is the number 10,” he summed up in a news conference at his official residence, Kesäranta, in Helsinki. “This is a more fluid way to solve this issue.”
He was referring to the maximum number of employees businesses would be allowed to have to be able to make lay-offs for personal reasons. The government was initially proposing that the right be limited to businesses with no more than 20 employees, but after its proposal came under a wave of criticism from trade unions and opposition parties, it lowered the limit to 10.
Its revised proposal refrains from setting a specific limit on the number of employees but prescribes that, in addition to the overall circumstances of the employer and employee, also the headcount of the employer should be taken into account in determining if there is a proper and weighty reason for the lay-off.
“It’s the same law without the number 10,” said Petteri Orpo (NCP), the Minister of Finance. “What will change is that it wouldn’t directly put companies on an unequal footing and that there wouldn’t be an explicit limit.”
Sipilä also revealed that the proposal was amended in accordance with input from trade unions.
The government also amended the proposal to state that the waiting period for unemployment benefits for employees laid off for personal reasons be reduced from 90 to 60 days irrespective of the size of the employer.
In addition, it voiced its interest in launching tripartite preparatory work on ways to satisfy the activity criteria laid out in the activation model for unemployment security and in continuing a tripartite effort to realise the non-gratuitous nature of unemployment security following the establishment of counties.
The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), the Finnish Confederation of Salaried Employees (STTK) and the Confederation of Trade Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland (Akava) are to mull over the amended proposal this afternoon, according to Helsingin Sanomat.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi