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Overall reform of the Co-Operation Act in preparation


A report ordered by the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment on the possible needs for changes in the Co-Operation Act (334/2007) recommends that the Co-Operation Act be completely renewed to enable proper dialogue in work places. According to the report, current legislation is considered vague and complicated, and the focus of co-operation has moved to looking for mistakes and avoiding sanctions rather than engaging in mutual collaboration. The current Co-Operation Act is also generally understood to merely relate to redundancies.

The report suggests that redundancy procedures be moved to the Employment Contracts Act and a new act concerning dialogue and development in work places be passed. Further, the report states that in the new act procedures could be agreed on in work places and in collective agreements, and requirements on formalities and timelines would be lightened. At the same time, employees’ possibilities to receive information and influence decisions would be enhanced. As bureaucracy would be dismantled, the new act is suggested to apply also to smaller companies with minimum 10 employees.

The redundancy procedures to be moved to the Employment Contracts Act would, according to the suggestion, also apply to smaller companies when planned redundancies would affect more than just a few employees. Also in these procedures, the personnel’s rights to information and possibilities to influence would be improved.

The goal of the proposed reform is to enhance the common development of companies’ operations and personnel, and productivity along with it. Focus would be given especially to preparation for future business operations, development of know-how, and well-being at work. The reform would also bring specifications to the financial and production-related termination grounds.

A working group for the preparation has been set up, and the group is expected to deliver an evaluation of the state of the current legislation, goals of the reform, and guidelines for the new act during summer 2019. The official government’s proposal is anticipated to be given in 2020, when it will be seen if and how the report’s suggestions have been considered.

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