Businesses and employees in the commercial sector are being pushed to the limits by the coronavirus pandemic, which has proven to be extremely serious in nature.
“Now is the time for rapid, wide-ranging action to avoid financial losses and safeguard jobs in the best possible way,” says Mari Kiviniemi, Managing Director of the Finnish Commerce Federation.
Working to a tight schedule, the Finnish Commerce Federation and PAM have negotiated the inclusion of fixed-term emergency provisions in the Collective Agreement for the Commercial Sector.
“The situation in the sector has deteriorated very rapidly, and the coronavirus crisis is exerting unprecedented pressure on many businesses in the commercial sector. Specialist retailers and wholesalers will be the hardest hit. Now, more than ever, they need our help to preserve jobs. It is great that we have been able to reach an agreement with PAM on this matter so quickly and flexibly,” says Anna Lavikkala, Labour Market Director at the Finnish Commerce Federation.
The emergency provisions will take effect on 19 March and will introduce several temporary changes to the collective agreement for the sector.
For example, lay-offs will be accelerated at crisis-hit companies by reducing the previous 14-day lay-off notice period to seven days. The notice period may be further reduced to three days by local agreement in the workplace.
The procedure for co-operation negotiations will change such that invitations to negotiations must be sent no later than three days before the beginning of the negotiations, rather than five days under the previous rules, and local agreements can also be made to alter this notification period. Similarly, the co-operation negotiation period will be reduced from 14 days to four days, and local agreements may also be made on this matter within companies.
New forms of flexibility will be introduced for work shift planning, and businesses in the commercial sector will begin using a five-day self-certification procedure for sick leave to avoid placing additional strain on health care providers.
Mari Kiviniemi, Managing Director, Finnish Commerce Federation, +358 50 511 3189, mari.kiviniemi(at)kauppa.fi
Anna Lavikkala, Labour Market Director, Finnish Commerce Federation, +358 400 406 088, anna.lavikkala(at)kauppa.fi
The Finnish Commerce Federation will provide detailed guidelines related to the emergency provisions on its website, Kauppa.fi, on Thursday 19 March 2020.