Press release by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland (Akava), the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), the Commission for Church Employers, Local Government Employers (KT), the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), the Finnish Confederation of Professionals (STTK) and the Office for the Government as Employer:
The Equal Pay Programme of the Government and central labour market organisations has been published
The Government and central labour market organisations have negotiated joint equal pay measures for the period 2020–2023. The Equal Pay Programme aims to reduce the average pay gap between women and men. The aims would be achieved through agreement and pay policies, development of pay systems, harmonising work and family life, and reducing gender segregation in working life.
The new Equal Pay Programme includes a number of practical actions to strengthen pay equality in the coming years. The parties to the Programme are committed to, among other things, updating the gender impact assessment recommendation, examining the effects of employment and collective agreements on pay differences, increasing pay awareness, guiding gender equality planning in workplaces, examining pay systems based on job competence from the perspective of equal pay and promoting the use of parental leave by fathers. In addition, business and industry organisations, education authorities and providers of education will carry out a joint project to end gender segregation in working life.
Minister Thomas Blomqvist welcomes the Equal Pay Programme: “The Tripartite Equal Pay Programme is a concrete joint commitment to promoting equal pay. The average pay gap between women and men is still 16% and that has to change. The Programme includes many steps to advance equal pay and, when we combine them with the Government’s own measures, I am optimistic the pay gap can be reduced.”
According to the labour organisations representing employees, “promotion of equal pay must take place in the workplace, in the unions and central labour organisations as well as in society as a whole. Important ways to reduce the pay gap include pay transparency, uniform criteria for assessing the requirements of work and a more equal allocation of family leave among parents. It is important to take swift action now.”
The labour organisations representing employers also welcome the new Equal Pay Programme. “The average pay gap between women and men is about the difference in the average earnings of men and women at the level of society – not about employers paying different salaries to women and men doing the same work. We are therefore very pleased that the Equal Pay Programme includes a broad-based project to eradicate gender segregation in the labour market. The project aims to address the division of sectors, professions and tasks into women’s and men’s work, and thereby reduce the average gender pay gap in a sustainable manner.”
In addition to the Equal Pay Programme, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health will also advance other measures under the Government Programme to strengthen pay equality. These include, among other things, large research projects that develop a method for comparing pay for work with equal value and assess the gender impact of collective agreements. Central labour market organisations also have their own measures to promote equal pay.
Equal Pay Programme 2020–2023
The Equal Pay Programme brings together the joint measures of the Government and central labour market organisations to promote equality in pay. The parties to the Programme include central labour market organisations, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, and the Ministry of Education and Culture. Equal Pay Programmes have been implemented since 2006.
Silja Borgarsdóttir Sandelin, Special Adviser, Ministry of Justice, tel. +358 295 150 116, silja.borgarsdottirsandelin(at)om.fi
Outi Viitamaa-Tervonen, Project Manager, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 230, outi.viitamaa-tervonen(at)stm.fi
Mika Happonen, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Finance, tel. +358 295 530 272, mika.happonen(at)vm.fi
Anja Lahermaa, Lawyer, Finnish Confederation of Professionals STTK, tel. +358 40 828 6845, anja.lahermaa(at)sttk.fi
Katja Leppänen, Specialist, Confederation of Finnish Industries EK, +358 40 510 8324, katja.leppanen(at)ek.fi
Anne Mironen, Adviser for Health, Safety and Equality at Work, Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK, tel. +358 40 718 6421, anne.mironen(at)sak.fi
Heikki Saaristo, Chief Labour Market Adviser, Local Government Employers KT, +358 50 456 7640, heikki.saaristo(at)kt.fi
Lotta Savinko, Manager, Working Life Affairs, Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland Akava, tel. +358 40 504 4356, lotta.savinko(at)akava.fi
Timo von Boehm, Lawyer, Commission for Church Employers, +358 50 080 8268, timo.boehm(at)evl.fi