Ministries review nationwide recommendation to work remotely – grounds for keeping recommendation in force still strong
On 23 October 2020, the Government issued a national recommendation for employees to work remotely until further notice. The ministries had to assess the grounds for keeping the recommendation in force by the end of the year.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry of Finance have assessed the development of the epidemiological situation and the effectiveness and impact of the recommendation.
Starting in mid-October, the situation with regard to the COVID-19 epidemic has become significantly more difficult both regionally and nationally. Workplaces and employees have followed the recommendation widely, which is estimated to have reduced the number of close contacts at workplaces and in public transport.
Studies have shown that long-term remote work increases employees’ sense of strain at work, although the majority are still mainly satisfied with working remotely. On the other hand, many jobs cannot be done remotely. Where these jobs are concerned, the authorities have emphasised the employer's responsibility to promote work arrangements aiming to reduce close contacts and other risk factors at the workplace.
The ministries emphasise that the epidemiological situation is still very serious and that COVID-19 is spreading throughout the country. The nationwide recommendation to work remotely can help in curbing the spread of the epidemic. The recommendation as such has not been found to have any significant negative impacts on the situation. For the reasons presented above, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry of Finance are of the view there are still strong grounds for keeping the national remote work recommendation in place in its current form.
In line with the Government resolution issued on 23 October 2020, the national recommendation to work remotely will continue until further notice. Grounds for a further extension of the recommendation will be assessed by 30 June 2021.
Juha Sarkio, Director General, Ministry of Finance, [email protected]
Liisa-Maria Voipio-Pulkki, Director of Strategic Affairs, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected]
Jaska Siikavirta, Director, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, [email protected]