In 2021, the occupational safety and health authorities carried out more than 1,500 inspections as part of the supervision of foreign labor in Finland. A key issue in supervision was to ensure that employers complied with the provisions on minimum working conditions for foreign workers.
Salary matters were audited in almost 600 audits and deficiencies were found in almost half of the sites audited. In most cases, the basic salary or bonuses were insufficient or not paid at all. The construction and restaurant sectors were the most problematic areas (deficiencies were found in 65% of inspections).
A large number of shortcomings were also found in the time and attendance accounts. For this reason, it was often difficult to verify the correctness of wage payments because inspectors were unable to determine actual working hours.
The disguise of work as entrepreneurship has become more common
In more and more cases, the employment relationship is disguised as entrepreneurship or so-called light entrepreneurship. Sometimes the employment relationship was transformed into an assignment agreement similar to the terms of the employment contract without the employee understanding the difference. The phenomenon is particularly common in the construction industry, but also in the car repair and car wash industry.
Informing foreign workers of their rights
Occupational safety and health authorities are increasingly communicating directly with foreign workers and their assistants. In 2021, the occupational safety and health authorities updated the guide As a foreign worker in Finland in 14 languages and organized a webinar in English on workers’ rights in Finland.
“It is important for foreign workers to know their rights and know how to ask for help from the authorities,” he explains. Riku RajamäkiSenior Inspector of the Occupational Safety Division of the Regional State Administrative Agency of Southern Finland.
Click below to read the report: Monitoring the use of foreign workers in 2021 (pdf; report in Finnish)
The report will later be published in Swedish and English here.
Source: Occupational safety and health
Source: The Nordic Page