Prime Minister Petteri Orpo (NCP) was photographed arriving for a meeting of the European Council in Brussels on 1 February 2024. Orpo on Saturday revealed to YLE that the government will scrap the three-month re-employment rule for foreign employees defined as specialists. (Ludovic Marin – AFP / Lehtikuva)

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PRIME MINISTER Petteri Orpo (NCP) stated on YLE Ykkösaamu on Saturday that the government will revise the government programme in regards to the much-debated re-employment obligation of foreign employees.

The government programme stipulates that foreign employees must leave the country if they fail to re-employ themselves within three months of the end of their previous employment.

Orpo on Saturday stated in an interview with the public broadcasting company that the government will revise the section to state that employees defined as specialises will be allowed to look for a new job for six months.

“We’ve negotiated an agreement within the government,” he revealed. “The [proposal] had caused significant concern among industries and the scientific community. Specialists are especially important for many companies. They can be key employees and key researchers in the scientific community.”

In an interview published earlier on Saturday by Helsingin Sanomat, Minister of Education Anna-Maja Henriksson (SFP) stated that she hopes the government will revisit the section of the government programme.

“It’d be wise for the government to evaluate how we can attract talent [to Finland]. The three-month rule does stand out in that context, and I’d like it if we mulled over it together in the government,” she said. “People moving to Finland must feel welcome, that they can lead a good life here and that it’s safe to come here without any fear of having to move out immediately.”

Orpo told YLE that he does not know when the interview was made but added that the government has had discussions about the issue and made the decision to revise the section unanimously.

“The ruling parties definitely had very different starting points to begin with. We do have a common understanding that skilled employees are welcome in Finland,” he said.

The government, he argued, is not seeking to make employment-based immigration more difficult.

“We simply want to emphasise the work-based nature of immigration. For example, a couple of sections in the government programme reduce bureaucracy and make coming here easier,” he commented. “We need foreign labour. Because of our age structure.”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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