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Government measures to ensure availability of seasonal employees

Government Communications DepartmentMinistry of Agriculture and ForestryMinistry of Economic Affairs and EmploymentMinistry of Social Affairs and HealthMinistry of the Interior
Publication date 6.5.2020 14.08 | Published in English on 6.5.2020 at 18.40
Press release 315/2020

In its negotiations on 6 May, the Government decided on measures to ensure the availability of seasonal labour needed in agriculture and horticulture, the entry of seasonal employees from abroad to Finland, and incentives to attract domestic labour.

To ensure the availability of domestic seasonal employees, the Government decided to prepare the following measures:

  • A temporary raise to the earnings that do not reduce the amount of unemployment benefit will be introduced.
  • The opportunities to use the commuting and relocation allowance referred to in the unemployment security legislation will be extended for a fixed term.
  • The threshold for earned income in the aid scheme for discontinuing production activities will be waived for a fixed term.

With respect to seasonal employees from abroad, the Government decided to lift the following restrictions on their entry to Finland:

  • Entry of EU citizens to Finland for seasonal work will be allowed as from 14 May in the same way as in the case of other employment and commission-related journeys.
  • On top of the 1,500 persons decided earlier, the entry of 3,000 persons from non-EU countries to carry out the work to be done in the spring and early summer will be allowed as from 14 May. The instructions currently in force concerning transport operations and two-week quarantine will continue to apply. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will issue further instructions on the entry to Finland.
  • The ensure crop harvesting, the necessary number of employees, to be estimated by 31 May, will be allowed between the beginning of June and end of September, taking into account the COVID-19 situation in the countries of origin and availability of domestic labour.

In addition, the Government proposes a temporary amendment to the Aliens Act with respect to persons working in agriculture, forestry, horticulture and fisheries.

The waiting period for taking up employment would be abolished in the case of applicants for international protection who have a matter concerning international protection pending either at the Finnish Immigration Service or administrative court. The duration of the right to work would be extended so that this would continue as long as a foreign citizen is entitled to reception services, in spite of an enforceable decision concerning removal from the country. The act amending the Aliens Act should enter into force as soon as possible and it would remain in force until 31 October 2020.

Inquiries: Satu Haapaniemi, Special Adviser to Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä, tel. +358 50 4005 193