Year: 2020

Laying off employees

These guidelines review critical matters concerning lay-offs. It should be noted that companies with 20 or more regular employees must comply with the co-operation procedure before carrying out lay-offs.

Detailed contents of the emergency provisions in the Collective Agreement for Commercial Transport Workers and employment legislation

The Finnish Commerce Federation and the Transport Workers’ Union AKT have agreed on changes to the Collective Agreement for Commercial Transport Workers in accordance with the recommendations of the central labour market organisations in relation to the coronavirus pandemic. The changes apply to the notice period for lay-offs, the negotiating period for co-operation negotiations and the re-employment of dismissed employees.

Detailed content of the emergency provisions for inclusion in the collective agreements for the commercial sector

The changes to the collective agreement negotiated by the Finnish Commerce Federation and PAM took effect on 19 March 2020. The changes are available for use immediately during ongoing and future co-operation negotiations, as well as for future lay-off notices and lay-off notices that have already been issued.

Coronavirus pandemic hits specialty goods trade in particular, weakens turnover and employment figures

The employment figures for the retail sector have been trending downward since the summer of 2018, and the coronavirus pandemic is set to impact these figures even further. Consumers are also facing a greater threat of unemployment than before, which is directly reflected in their consumption habits. Contrary to previous estimates of moderate growth, turnover is now expected to decrease. The situation will impact domestic specialty goods trade the most, as the sector is already in a critical state.

Finnish Commerce Federation: Quick decisions on direct subsidies are needed, especially with regard to rental expenses – follow the lead set by the other Nordic countries

The Finnish Commerce Federation urges the Government to quickly decide on direct subsidies for companies to cover costs such as rental expenses. The specialty goods trade is facing a critical situation due to the coronavirus epidemic, so there is a pressing need for decisions. According to information that has been discussed in public, the use of subsidies from ELY Centres for paying salaries and rent will be possible going forward, and the Government Decree that will enable this is currently being drafted. Even if the legal drafting process for the Government Decree is completed next week, it is essential for this decision to be given preliminary confirmation as soon as possible. The Finnish Commerce Federation proposes that the solution should follow the lead set by the other Nordic countries that have introduced direct subsidies.

Finnish Commerce Federation: The scale of Government action is good, but additional action is needed

The scale of the package of supportive measures announced today by the Finnish Government to counter the damage caused by the coronavirus epidemic is good. However, new measures are needed. The time period for the amendments being made to the labour law and unemployment benefits is insufficient. In addition, the supportive measures aimed at businesses need to be complemented.

Emergency provisions added to the collective agreement – commercial sector taking wide-ranging action to save businesses and jobs

The Finnish Commerce Federation has reached an agreement with Service Union United PAM on emergency provisions for the collective agreement in order to safeguard the future of businesses in the sector and save jobs. The new provisions take effect on 19 March, and they will remain in force throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Tax exemption for donations of clothes and shoes would boost circular economy in the commerce sector

Commerce sector companies have to pay value added tax when donating clothes and shoes which makes donating difficult and expensive. For businesses donating unusable stock to those in need is the best solution both from the environmental and social responsibility perspective when a company wants to give away products in good condition. Donating should be as easy and simple as possible and it should not be further complicated with legislation.

Recruitment difficulties pose challenges also for commerce – the largest employer in the economy could employ even more

Companies in the commerce sector are facing challenges with the availability of labour. The phenomenon is becoming evident in the service sector in general. Commerce could be enabled to employ even more, for example, by improving the language skills of foreign born labour as well as by targeting training compensation and salary subsidies better.