Bloomberg Law for HR Professionals is a complete, one-stop resource, continuously updated, providing HR professionals with fast answers to a wide range of domestic and international human resources...
By Marcus Hoy
Dec. 9—The requirement that Finland's large and medium-sized employers develop gender equality plans to address inequities in the employment of women will be extended to include other forms of discrimination. As of Jan. 1, 2017, companies employing at least 30 workers must prepare plans aimed at preventing discrimination on the basis of age, ethnicity, national origin or nationality, language, religion, belief, opinion, political activity and trade union membership.
According to Section Seven of the nation's Nondiscrimination Act (1325/2014), employers must assess how workplace equality can be achieved given factors such as their employees' specific work environment and available resources. The plans must cover both working conditions and the selection of personnel. Employees or their representatives must be consulted with regard to the effectiveness of the proposed new measures.
In a Dec. 13 statement, Leenamaija Heinonen, an attorney at the Roschier legal firm, told Bloomberg BNA that the obligation would entail more than the adaptation of existing gender equality plans to include other forms of discrimination.
“In our view, this is not just about amending the existing texts of the gender equality plans,” Heinonen said. “The gender equality plan is separate from the new nondiscrimination plan. This concerns new matters to be handled at the workplace and requires involving the employees or their representatives in the drafting process.”
“The content and the form of the nondiscrimination plan . . . must concern the general state of equality at the company and plan for measures necessary for the promotion of equality with respect to the discrimination grounds mentioned in the law,” Heinonen said
Although noncompliance is punishable by fines, Heinonen said, companies found to be in breach of the requirement would more likely be ordered by the Occupational Safety and Health Authority to prepare a new plan or amend an existing one. Fines would be imposed only if the employer failed to comply with the authority's instructions.
“As a rule, the Occupational Safety and Health Authority first issues an order to correct the noncompliance and only imposes a fine if it is not corrected,” Heinonen said.
Heinonen added that several other amendments to Finnish employment legislation are planned by the government, including longer trial periods for new employees, a shorter reemployment obligation and an obligation in certain cases for employers to provide outplacement services for employees.
To contact the reporter on this story: Marcus Hoy in Copenhagen at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Vollmar at email@example.com
An unofficial English translation of the Nondiscrimination Act is available here.
For more information on Finnish HR law and regulation, see the Finland primer.
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)