Uutinen 14.5.2004

With EU enlargement Finland will apply a transition period for the mobility of labour (MOL)

Finland is applying a two-year transition period to citizens of the new EU Member States entering the labour market. The temporary legislation covering this will enter into force on 1 May, 2004.

The transition period will affect eight of the new Member States joining the European Union at the beginning of May (the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia) with only Cyprus and Malta remaining outside it. According to the law, working in Finland will continue to be subject to a favourable decision. Citizens of EU countries will not, however, need employees’ residence permits as prescribed in Finland’s new Aliens’ Act. For them, the decision will be made by Employment Offices and will be based on the situation of availability of labour force.

The adoption of a transition period in Finland is based on Government policy and the Treaties of Accession of the new Member States.

Employment of citizens of the new Member States in Finland calls for a favourable decision by the Employment Office. A favourable decision will be made if an employee cannot be found from the Finnish labour market within a reasonable period of time to fill the vacant job and if the terms of employment are in accordance with Finnish law and collective agreements. The Employment Office decision may be requested either before or after arriving in the country.

The transition period legislation will affect citizens of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia, but there are some exceptions. Access to the labour market for citizens of the new Member States will not be restricted if they reside in Finland for some other purpose than employment. This includes entrepreneurs, family members of employees and students. Neither will the transition period legislation apply to those who have already lived and worked in Finland for more than a year or to new EU-citizens who would be entitled to work if they were citizens of third countries. Because of the Treaties of Accession, the transition period legislation will not affect the free movement of labour within the framework of the freedom to provide services. This covers employees working for a foreign employer who are posted to Finland on a temporary basis.

Most of the provisions of the Aliens’ Act on monitoring the terms of an employment relationship and on the duties of an employer will also apply, even in exceptional circumstances as defined in the transition period legislation.

The new Aliens’ Act, which provides for the employment of foreigners, will come into force at the same time as the transition period legislation. In association with the Aliens’ Act, certain technical adjustments will also be made to the Employment Services Act and the Act on Income Security for the Unemployed. Attention will also be paid to supervision to the terms of employment as far as foreign labour is concerned by adjusting the provisions on sanctions and by increasing resources for monitoring the situation.

For further information, contact:

Chief Inspector Olli Sorainen, tel:+358 9 1604 8054, olli.sorainen@mol.fi

Ministry of Labour Press release

29 April 2004