The planned legislation to ease individual dismissals is hitting women hardest

The plan for new legislation to ease individual dismissal is hitting sectors where the workforce is primarily made up of women hardest, say trade union leaders Ann Selin and Päivi Niemi-Laine.
17.08. 13:16
SAK
Photo: Patrik Lindström

Selin is the President of the Service Union United PAM and Päivi Niemi-Laine is the President of the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors. 

The Government proposal is aimed at easing the criteria for individual dismissal in businesses employing less than 20 people.

The proposed legislation will target in particular employees in the service and public services sectors, as these do not often have regulations on dismissals in their collective agreements. Almost 70 per cent of those working in these sectors are women.

If the legislation is passed, employees in the sectors where the workforce is primarily made up of men will manage to avoid weaker employment security at least until the next round of collective agreement negotiations, says Päivi Niemi-Laine.

But the sectors which have primarily female employees will face a weakened position as regards employment security immediately, she adds.

There has been no gender impact assessment when drafting the proposal.

The union leaders say that the Government’s reasons for amending the legislation are without any real grounds. There is no research indicating that existing regulations makes recruiting people more difficult.

Ann Selin says that the proposal shows once more the inadequate preparation being carried out when it comes to legislation by PM Sipilä’s Government. There has been no gender impact assessment when drafting the proposal.

Selin and Niemi-Laine stress that the position of women in the labour market is already now weaker than that of men, and there is a real danger that the gap is becoming even wider.

The consultation period for the draft bill to amend the Employment Contracts Act ended on 16 August. In its submission the trade union movement strenuously opposed the amendment.

Heikki Jokinen / Free lancer