Skip to content

Legislative project to strengthen the labour market model progresses

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 24.5.2024 12.03
Press release

A tripartite working group has prepared amendments to the mediation system for labour disputes. The work is nearing completion and the main outlines of the reform are clear. Consultation round on the working group’s report will begin in June 2024.

The tripartite working group was tasked with preparing legislative amendments to implement the Government Programme’s entry on the development of the negotiation system. 

“The aim is to strengthen Finland’s labour market model in order to improve long-term competitiveness and the capacity of the national economy,” says State Secretary to the Minister of Employment Mika Nykänen, who chaired the working group.

The legislative amendments now prepared would affect the activities of the National Conciliator, the Conciliators and conciliation boards. The social partners would still be able to conclude agreements with each other as before.

The main outlines of the reform are presented below. The information is based on the working group’s report, which is still being finalised.

Consideration of the general level of pay adjustments in mediation to be laid down in law

The reform would strengthen the consideration of the general level of pay adjustments in mediation. This practice is already applied in mediation, but the reform would incorporate the principle into the law.

In order to safeguard the national economy and public interest, the conciliator would be required to act during mediation in a way that does not jeopardise the functioning of the labour market while ensuring that the wage formation process operates as well as possible. Provisions on this would be laid down in the Act on Mediation in Labour Disputes and the Preconditions for Certain Industrial Action. 

The conciliator should encourage the parties to the labour dispute to reach negotiated solutions that are balanced in terms of Finland’s competitiveness and well-functioning wage formation. This principle should also be observed by the conciliator when submitting a proposal for settlement.

Practices of conciliation boards to be harmonised

The reform would harmonise the practices of conciliation boards set up for a specific conciliation task. The activities of a conciliation board would be more strongly tied to the provisions of the Act concerning mediation in labour disputes. 

In its proceedings, a conciliation board would be required to adhere to the same principles that promote the functioning of the labour market as the conciliator. The provisions on the submission of a settlement proposal would also apply to a settlement proposal issued by a conciliation board.

The conciliation board would be chaired by the National Conciliator or a conciliator appointed by the National Conciliator. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment would appoint the other members of the conciliation board based on a proposal by the National Conciliator.

Act is scheduled to enter into force by the end of autumn session

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment appointed a working group to prepare the legislative amendments on 29 January 2024. In addition to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the working group includes representatives from the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK, Office for the Government as Employer, Local Government and County Employers KT, Commission for Church Employers, Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK, Finnish Confederation of Professionals STTK, Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland Akava and a joint representative of the employee confederations. Before the consultation round begins, the bodies represented in the working group will have the opportunity to present a dissenting opinion on the report.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment will circulate the working group’s report for comments in June–August 2024. The aim is to submit the government proposal in September 2024 so that the legislative amendments could enter into force by the end of the autumn session 2024.

Mika Nykänen, State Secretary, tel. +358 295 047 266
Nico Steiner, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 049 001

The image describes the progress of the preparations: Seminar 8 November 2023. Consultation round 8 November 2023–9 January 2024. Event by Minister of Employment 16 January 2024. Working group work February–May 2024. Consultation round June–August 2024. Government proposal September 2024. Entry into force December 2024–January 2025.