Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
The Act on Occupational Safety and Health Enforcement and Cooperation on Occupational Safety and Health at Workplaces will be amended to improve the enforcement of the provisions on wage dumping and the monitoring of issues affecting indoor air quality. The powers of the occupational safety and health (OSH) authorities to enforce the provisions on wage dumping will be extended, and in future, the OSH authorities will be obliged to notify other authorities of problems with indoor air quality.
The powers of the OSH authorities to enforce the provisions on wage dumping will be extended to issuing employers with a written improvement notice, a binding administrative decision and a notice of a conditional fine. The authorities can take these measures when the situation concerns the employer’s duty to provide clear grounds for the payment and amount of wages and to pay wages in accordance with the law and a generally binding collective agreement. However, the OSH authorities will not resolve disputes of interpretation arising from the pay of employees.
To better combat wage dumping, the duty of the OSH authorities to notify the police will be extended to cover fraud and usury offences under the Criminal Code. The aim with extending the duty of notification is to help the police to better take into account all constituent elements of a crime that may be applicable to a case under criminal investigation.
By extending the OSH authorities’ enforcement powers, the legislative amendments seek to improve compliance with the provisions on employee pay in the labour market and to safeguard the position of employees. The amendments also aim to prevent the creation of a labour market where compliance with the minimum level of pay is often neglected, and to combat the grey economy more effectively.
“Fair terms of employment and fair pay belong equally to everyone working in Finland. Enhancing the powers of the OSH authorities and putting more effort into assessing cases of wage dumping on the basis of the Criminal Code are important steps in tackling wage dumping and the emergence of a two-tier labour market,” says Minister of Social Affairs and Health Hanna Sarkkinen.
The Act will also be amended regarding poor indoor air quality. The duty of the OSH authorities to notify other authorities will be extended to notifying the municipal health protection and building inspection authorities of problems with indoor air quality and building maintenance. By improving the flow of information between the competent authorities, the legislative amendments aim to combat health harms associated with poor indoor air quality.
The legislative amendments will enter into force on 1 June 2023. The President of the Republic is expected to approve the amendments on Friday, 3 March 2023