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Towards Equal Pay

Equal pay is a basic condition for a fair, rewarding, productive working life. The gender pay gap is a pressing and persistent gender equality problem. The government’s aim is to markedly reduce the differences in pay between women and men using:

  • the Finnish Constitution
  • gender equality legislation
  • improving the status of women in working life
  • the Tripartite Equal Pay Programme.

The gender pay gap in Finland between men and women is on average 16,1% in all labour sectors (source: earnings for regular working hours, Statistics Finland, Index of Wage and Salary Earnings 2017).

The gender pay gap is narrower in the public sector than in the private sector.

The government and the central labour market organisations (trade unions and employers) have pledged to promote equal pay. Since 2006, the government and the social partners have been carrying out the Equal Pay Programme to bridge the gender pay gap. This is mainly done by

  • the pay and agreement policy,

  • decreasing gender-based segregation in occupations

  • developing pay systems

  • supporting women's career development

  • equality planning and pay surveys.

The purpose is also to implement the principle of Equal Pay (in the Equality Act).

The Equal Pay Programme 2016-2019 ended in March 2019. There was an overall evaluation of the Equal Pay Programme 2016-2019. The Equal Pay Programme is generally seen as necessary. At the moment the Government is discussing the content of the next Equal Pay Programme with the social partners.

Increasing pay openness and transparency may be one solution to closing the pay gap. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has issued a report on gender pay openness. The rapporteur for this was the Ombudsman for Equality. The report describes and evaluates the current situation and presents findings and proposals for the legal system, on the current agreement policy, and for businesses. The report was published in October 2018.

In January 2018 the MSAH established a tripartite working group (which finished its term on 15 March 2019) to examine pay transparency in an effort to move towards pay equality.

 

Further information

Outi Viitamaa-Tervonen, Project Manager 
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Työ- ja tasa-arvo-osasto / TTO, Tasa-arvoyksikkö / TASY 0295163230