THE FINNISH Union of Practical Nurses (Super) claims that Esperi Care and other large providers of non-medical care have sought to silence employees who report shortcomings, even means of the threat of dismissal.
Super on Tuesday said Esperi Care removed one of its members from the workplace for notifying their superior that only one untrained employee had been assigned to a night shift at the challenging residential care unit.
Silja Paavola, the chairperson of Super, revealed later that dozens of similar incidents are witnessed on a yearly basis and that the union has had to seek financial compensation for employees who have been unlawfully dismissed for reporting shortcomings to their superiors.
“[The cases have occurred] not only in the units of Esperi Care, but also in those of other large providers of non-medical care,” she said.
Maria Pajamo, the director of human resources at Esperi Care, confirmed to Talouselämä that an employee was removed from one of the units operated by the privately owned social and health care company in Helsinki, but added that their employment contract was not terminated.
Elina Uusitalo, a senior officer at the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira), declined to comment specifically on the allegations made by Super. She pointed out, however, that the social welfare act states unequivocally that employees have an obligation to report any shortcomings and apparent threats of shortcomings related to the administration of care to customers.
“It’s the obligation of employees; there’s no two ways about it,” she stated to Uusi Suomi.
“The provisions state unambiguously that employers can’t take countermeasures against employees who have submitted a report.”
Esperi Care has found itself in the middle of a media storm after it was reported that chronic understaffing had severely compromised patient safety at its nursing home in Kristiinankaupunki, Western Finland.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi