Equal pay

Equal pay is a fundamental and human right. Under the Finnish Equality Act, people performing the same work or work of equal value must receive the same pay, irrespective of their gender. Reducing pay gaps is a central equality issue and basic prerequisite for a fair, rewarding and high-quality working life. 

The Government’s aim is to reduce the differences in pay between women and men by

  • developing gender equality legislation
  • improving the status of women and gender equality in working life
  • carrying out research and development projects
  • implementing the Tripartite Equal Pay Programme.

Gender pay gap

The gender pay gap is a pressing and persistent gender equality problem. In Finland, the gap is on average 16 per cent in the whole labour market. This means that the average earnings of women are around 84 per cent of the average earnings of men in all labour sectors (source: earnings for regular working hours, Statistics Finland, Index of Wage and Salary Earnings 2020). On average, the gender pay gap is higher in Finland than in the other EU and Nordic countries. 

The pay statistics are based on register data and available by legal gender recognition. 

Reducing the pay gap

The pay gap can be reduced, for example by

  • drawing up and implementing workplace gender equality plans and pay surveys based on the Equality Act
  • developing pay systems 
  • developing contract and pay policies
  • dismantling gender segregation in working life.

Research and development projects promoting equal pay in 2020–2023

Study on the state of equality planning and pay surveys at workplaces

Project on work of equal value 

Project to assess the gender impacts of collective agreements 

Project to dismantle gender segregation in working life 

Research project on how working careers and occupational structures are linked to gender pay gap

Equal Pay Programme

The Government and central labour market organisations have agreed on a joint Equal Pay Programme for the period 2020–2023. 


An independent overall assessment of the promotion of equal pay has been carried out. The assessment covers the tripartite Equal Pay Programme 2020–2023 and the Government’s own projects and measures. 

An overall assessment of the previous Equal Pay Programme 2016–2019 has already been carried out.

Monitoring indicators

Further information