A catalogue of Orpo-Purra Government cuts

The Orpo-Purra Government is seeking significant changes in labour law, and in the right to strike. Its programme also includes a wide range of social welfare reductions, including drastic cuts in earnings-related unemployment benefit and housing allowance. A huge raft of measures is already in preparation.
06.09.2023 18:22
Riikka Purra, the Minister of Finance, and Petteri Orpo, the Prime Minister. Photo: Lauri Heikkinen / the Finnish Government / Creative Commons (CC BY 2.0).

A catalogue of Orpo-Purra Government cuts

Erosion of working conditions

  • No pay for the first day of sick leave
  • Job alternation leave abolished
  • “Relevant grounds” becoming sufficient for dismissal, instead of the present higher threshold of “relevant and serious grounds”.
  • Broader scope to set aside statutory employment standards by collective bargaining at individual workplaces with no shop steward
  • Special grounds for temporary employment only required when the job lasts for longer than one year
  • Hampering settlement of industrial disputes by limiting the powers of the national conciliator
  • Shortening notification and bargaining periods for temporary layoffs
  • No duty to re-engage dismissed workers in businesses with fewer than 50 employees

Restrictions on the right to strike

  • Restrictions on sympathetic and political strike action
  • A €200 fine for individual strikers when a strike is found to be illegal
  • A dramatic increase in union strike fines

Cuts in social welfare

  • Child supplements abolished in unemployment benefit
  • Earnings-related unemployment benefit already reduced after two months
  • A prolonged waiting period for unemployment benefit
  • Wage-subsidised employment no longer counting towards the employment condition for earnings-related benefit
  • A longer employment condition for earnings-related benefit
  • An employment condition based on prior earnings instead of working time
  • Cuts in housing allowance
  • Eligibility for unemployment benefit to begin only after phasing of outstanding holiday compensation
  • Obstacles to eligibility for social assistance
  • Abolition of the unemployment benefit and housing allowance portions that are protected during part-time working
  • Abolition of adult education benefit
  • Cuts in benefits for unemployed elderly workers
  • Abolition of the increased parental allowance rate payable for the first 16 ordinary weekdays *)
    *) Following a budget session, the Government announced on 19 September 2023 that it is seeking alternative measures.

How can I get involved?

Share information at work

Your trade union and SAK produce plenty of material that you can share or refer to when discussing government measures at work. This includes the list of cuts available above.

Take part in events, sign petitions and attend demonstrations

Collective strength is an effective way to be heard. Take part in and share information about trade union and other events.

Share, like and comment on social media under the #SeriousGrounds hashtag

We will be using the hashtags #SeriousGrounds, #PainavaSyy (in Finnish) and #VägandeSkäl (in Swedish). Follow them and spread the word by reposting and reacting.

Read more about the concept of #SeriousGrounds.

Download #SeriousGround logos

Download logos in English, Finnish and Swedish on Flickr