Finland -Unions oppose cuts to job alternation leave compensation -September 28, 2011

All three Finnish union confederations, Akava, SAK and STTK, oppose the government's plan to cut compensation to employees who opt for job alternation leave. The government intends to cut the alternation leave compensation by 10 to 20% from its present level. Currently, employees on job alternation leave are entitled to compensation between 70 and 80% of unemployment benefit. The system of job alternation leave was established in 1996. To date thousands of employees have availed of the scheme; in 2010 over 17,000 took the opportunity. The confederations strenuously insist that the planned cuts run counter to the generally approved goal of extending working careers, a goal emphasized in the government programme. Moreover, due to the requirement that the employer must hire an unemployed jobseeker to replace the employee on job alternation leave, the system has created job opportunities for many unemployed, and the unions are afraid that the planned cuts would make it difficult, especially for employees in low-pay jobs, to make use of the system.



This article was published in the Collective Bargaining Newsletter. It aims to facilitate information exchange between trade unions and to support the work of ETUC's collective bargaining committee. For more information, please contact the editor Maarten van Klaveren, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) You may find further information on the ETUI at, and on the AIAS at © ETUI aisbl, Brussels 2011.

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