The Finnish Confederation of Professionals (STTK) is willing to consider lowering the social security contributions of employers, its chairman, Antti Palola, says.The Finnish Confederation of Professionals (STTK), is prepared to lower the contributions of employers, its chairman, Antti Palola, has revealed.

“It was one of the proposals on the table in our negotiations, but we couldn't find a way forward,” he says in an interview with Uusi Suomi. “Lowering health insurance contributions was one aspect of the proposal tabled by the Government. That served as a basis for our discussions on employers' contributions.”

“Our position is that [the contributions] can be re-evaluated, lowered and possibly re-distributed between employers and employees. Nothing more concrete was achieved before the negotiations fell through,” he says.

Palola also reveals that the negotiations have yet to re-commence, contrary to reports circulating in the media. “Such reports are baseless. We definitely haven't re-started the negotiations as some labour market bosses are currently abroad.”

No agreement on re-commencing the negotiations has yet been reached. Palola is hopeful that the stakeholders will sit back down at the negotiating table, but reminds that the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) has announced its unwillingness to do so without the Transport Workers' Union (AKT).

“If the negotiations start over, [employers' contributions] will definitely be among the subjects under consideration,” he says.

The Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland (Akava) has expressed its concerns over the effects of the proposal to lower employers' contributions on the purchasing power of wage earners. The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), in turn, has voiced its willingness to re-assign some contributions from the shoulders of employers to those of employees.

“What's sure is that if one organisation opposes and others agree on a particular proposal, the proposal will probably be approved,” Palola reminds.

He also says he appreciates the concerns of Akava, but pointed out that the proposed cuts in holiday bonuses would have a similar effect on the purchasing power of earners. “We'll definitely have to find a compromise somewhere,” he says.

The Government announced already in August that it is considering lowering the social security contributions of employers.

Olli Rehn (Centre), the Minister of Economic Affairs, recently voiced his hope that the labour market confederations would re-commence the negotiations.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Petteri Paalasmaa / Uusi Suomi
Source: Uusi Suomi