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The Finnish Public Services Unions' International Network FIPSU has created ethical principles for the recruitment of foreign employees. Labour exploitation cases and human trafficking that have come to light highlight the need for the principles.

All employees must have the same rights and obligations, such as the right to organise and the right to the same pay and the same working conditions.

Finland cannot transfer the burden of its own shortage of labour to other countries. The basic services in the countries of origin must not be eroded, nor shall the education system be distorted to produce professionals for the needs of other countries.

FIPSU calls for sufficient resources for the supervision of compliance with the employment terms of foreign employees. More severe sanctions must be imposed for the exploitation of employees, extortion-type work discrimination and human trafficking.

The ethical principles stress language proficiency and the employer's responsibility in language training. For employees who cannot work directly in the tasks for which they have been trained, a training route must be created in order to guarantee a similar level of competence according to Finnish training, sufficient language skills as well as employment as quickly as possible in the tasks for which the training was provided.

Ethics and compliance with collective agreements and legislation must be taken into account in public sector tendering and procurements. Procurements and subcontracting must be supervised better.

FIPSU highlights the significance of family reunification to help employees arriving from abroad commit to Finnish society and working life.

In its own work, FIPSU commits to promoting the integration of migrants. Through co-operation, labour migration can be made ethically sustainable.

The Finnish Public Services Unions' International Network FIPSU supports the international advocacy and EU collaboration of seven public sector trade unions. FIPSU's affiliate trade unions are Trade Union Jyty, Trade Union Pro, Trade Union Unio, Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL, Trade Union of Education in Finland (OAJ), Finnish Union of Practical Nurses (SuPer) and the Union of Health and Social Care Professionals (Tehy).

FIPSU requires that

  • the recruitment of foreign labour shall be carried out ethically, and Finland shall not transfer the burden of its own shortage of labour to other countries. The emigration of a country's professional labour force shall not erode the basic services in that country, nor shall it distort the education system to produce professionals for the needs of other countries.
  • all parties involved in the labour recruiting process shall comply with the legislation and with the applicable Finnish collective agreement. The employer shall be responsible for ensuring that the foreign employee has all of the necessary permits for residing, working and exercising a profession in Finland.
  • recruitment is a controlled activity. Direct or indirect costs related to arranging work shall not be collected from the recruited person.
  • in recruiting from foreign countries, the employer shall see to it that the employee receives, already in his or her country of departure, sufficient information about the workplace, work tasks, the language and professional qualification requirements, the conditions of employment, employees' rights and obligations, and trade union activity, as well as information about Finnish society and legislation.
  • the recruitment of foreign labour shall not create parallel labour markets. All employees must have the same rights and obligations, such as the right to organise and the right to the same pay and the same working conditions.
  • professionals from other countries shall be recruited for tasks for which they have been trained and for which they are qualified. For employees who cannot work directly in the tasks for which they have been trained, a training route must be created in order to guarantee a similar level of competence according to Finnish training, sufficient language skills as well as employment as quickly as possible in the tasks for which the training was provided.
  • the employer shall offer employees language courses both during recruitment and during employment. Different tasks require different levels of general and professional language proficiency. Language training to ensure that the employee has sufficient language proficiency for the work tasks, must take place during working hours. Sufficient language proficiency means that the customer's safety is not jeopardised and that the employee's and work community's occupational safety is not threatened.
  • An integration training route shall be created for people arriving in Finland to work, which will support both general and professional language proficiency and working life awareness. Diverse language skills enable full membership in the work community and in society.
  • sufficient resources shall be set aside to supervise that the employment terms of foreign employees are complied with. More severe sanctions must be imposed for the exploitation of employees, extortion-type work discrimination and human trafficking.
  • in public contracts, responsible goods and service purchases shall be made in order to prevent labour trafficking and the exploitation of foreign employees. Procurements and subcontracting shall be supervised better, and minimum employment terms must be included in procurement contracts for the entire public sector.
  • the training and employment of immigrants living in Finland shall be supported, with a particular emphasis on women's employment.
  • the rules of working life shall be fair for everyone and working conditions are in order. A zero-tolerance policy shall be followed at the workplace toward inappropriate behaviour, discrimination and racism.
  • the employer shall enable two-way integration by offering training for personnel and by coaching supervisors in diversity management.
  • the Government of Finland, municipalities and employers shall prepare for the challenges and costs arising from the immigration of foreign employees' family members. The need for public services is increasing and diversifying. Preparations must also be made to ensure that foreign employees and their family members are covered by the Finnish social services system.
  • family reunification shall be made easier to help immigrants integrate and commit to Finnish society and working life.

We as trade unions commit to promoting immigrants' integration and inclusion in Finnish working life as equal members of society.

Source: The Finnish Public Services Union

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