Office workers in Helsinki. LEHTIKUVA

Working life

A recent survey conducted by Kantar Public Oy on behalf of Suomen Yrittäjät (Finnish Entrepreneurs) has found strong support for universal income security and social security reform in the Finnish workforce. The survey, called the Työelämägallup, was conducted among 1,511 respondents, including employees, entrepreneurs, furloughed workers, and the unemployed.

The results of the survey indicate that 42% of those surveyed view a universal income security model favorably.

This model would provide an income support system for those who are not members of unemployment funds. The remaining 34% view this model unfavorably. According to Mikael Pentikäinen, CEO of Suomen Yrittäjät, a universal income security system is a matter of fairness. "It is wrong that income security is not available to all who fund it, but only to those who are members of the funds," he said.

The survey also found that a large majority of respondents, 71%, support social security reform that would encourage more people to work. Pentikäinen further noted that the current model disproportionately affects the most vulnerable segments of the labor market, particularly young people. Many young workers mistakenly believe that joining a labor union provides them with income security, and labor unions do not seem to be interested in correcting this misconception.

The survey also found that the majority of those surveyed, 59%, believe that unemployment benefits should be staggered to encourage more people to accept work. Many respondents feel that the current system discourages people from seeking employment due to the financial disincentives associated with taking a job. Respondents believe that the current system is counterproductive, as it encourages people to stay out of the workforce, which harms the overall economic foundations of the welfare state.

Pentikäinen believes that these results demonstrate the need for reform. "We have hundreds of thousands of working-age people outside the workforce. For many of them, it is not worth it to work. We cannot afford it as a nation. Finnish workplaces are in dire need of labor," he said.

Overall, the Työelämägallup survey reveals a strong desire for income security and social security reform among Finnish workers. These reforms would provide a more equitable system for all those who fund it, encouraging more people to enter the workforce and bolstering the overall economic health of the country.