Combating labour exploitation: employment information for foreigners in 14 different languages
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Occupational safety and health authorities have published a guide for foreign employees in 14 different languages. The guide includes key information on employee rights such as working hours, wages and holidays. The guide “As a foreign employee in Finland” is meant to raise foreigners’ awareness of the key terms of employment relationships and to combat labour exploitation. The guide will also be shared to Ukrainians who have come to Finland.
“The guide is a concise way for a person to find basic information on employment in Finland. The guide is also useful for foreign-language employers”, explains Inspector Juulia Vihervirta from the Occupational Safety and Health Division of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland.
With the help of the guide, employees can recognise if their employment relationship does not comply with the law or the relevant collective agreement. The guide includes examples of minimum wages for cleaning, cooking, construction, gardening and farming work. It explains working hours in Finland and how overtime compensation is calculated. The guide also includes topics such as a person’s right to work and where to get help when faced with a problem.
“Unfortunately, our inspections often reveal that a generally applicable collective agreement is not being followed in terms of pay, for example. Many foreign employees are not even aware of the collective agreement in their sector”, Vihervirta explains.
Occupational safety and health authority hopes that the guide will reach as many as possible
The guide has been published in the following languages: Finnish, Swedish, English, Estonian, Russian, Romanian, Chinese, Kurdish, Hindi, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Thai, Nepali and Bosnian. This year, the guide will also be published in Arabic. The guide is distributed to employees during occupational safety and health inspections, for example. A printable poster version has also been made.
“We hope that public services and organisations will put the poster up. This way, as many foreign employees as possible will become aware of the guide and their rights at work”, says Vihervirta.
“Now it is important to inform also Ukrainians who have come to Finland about the guide, because some of them will probably want to work soon. Among other things, we brought posters and brochures in Ukrainian and Russian to the service point set up for Ukrainians in the West Harbour”, Vihervirta adds.
All language versions of the guide and the printed poster can be found on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration website www.tyosuojelu.fi/work-in-finland.