The service and commerce industries have been hit especially hard by the coronavirus crisis. In many companies, the coronavirus measures have created a liquidity crisis so intense that recovery will be extremely hard without direct subsidies. The operations of companies that have been hit the hardest must be helped to restart as soon as the restrictions can be eased.
The Finnish Commerce Federation and Palta together propose a restart salary subsidythat would be targeted at companies that have already laid off personnel temporarily. In order to receive the subsidy, the companies would commit to shortening or discontinuing temporary layoffs once the restrictions are eased and business operations restart.
The subsidy would be a one-off payment to companies whose personnel expenses have been reduced by at least 50 per cent early this year. The subsidy could be automated and monitored using data from the incomes register in order to avoid abuses. Focusing on shortening and avoiding temporary layoffs, the restart subsidy would boost employment and help companies hold on to capable workforce for the duration of this temporary crisis.
Commerce and private sector service businesses employ about 1.3 million people in Finland, which is roughly half of all employed people. According to employer associations, without targeted additional subsidies Finland risks facing a wave of bankruptcies and mass unemployment, which would pose an additional challenge to the already struggling public economy.
Together, the Finnish Commerce Federation and Palta represent about 9,000 companies that employ roughly 475,000 people in Finland.
Tuula Loikkanen, tel. +358 (0)40 922 0750
Manager, Public Policy and Advocacy, Finnish Commerce Federation
Tatu Rauhamäki, tel. +358 (0)50 521 2907
Industrial policy leader, Service Sector Employers Palta
The Finnish Commerce Federation represents commerce – the largest sector of economic life. Commerce employs around 300,000 people in Finland. The Federation has around 7,000 member companies and represents both retail and wholesale commerce in industry policy and labour market lobbying. Kauppa.fi/en
Service Sector Employers Palta is a representative association for service sector businesses and organisations. We represent our over 2,000 members in the service sector, who employ about 175,000 people in Finland. Palta.fi/en