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Changes at the turn of the year in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
18.12.2020 10.22 | Published in English on 22.12.2020 at 10.09
Press release

On this page, you will find information on the changes that will affect the administrative branch of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment at the turn of the year. You will also find links to further information on each of the changes.

Temporary changes to employment law to end

Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the period of notice before lay-off was temporarily reduced to five days. From 1 January 2021, the period of notice will be 14 days.

The duration of co-operation negotiations concerning lay-offs was temporarily reduced to five days. From 1 January 2021, the period will be six weeks or 14 days.

Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the employee re-employment obligation was extended to nine months if the employee was laid off during a time when the temporary provisions were in force. From 1 January 2021, the re-employment obligation is either four or six months.

Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, employers have been entitled to lay off an employee in a fixed-term employment relationship under the same conditions as an employee with an employment contract of unspecified duration. This change will remain in force until 31 December 2020.

Employers have also been able to terminate an employment contract during a trial period for financial or production-related reasons referred to in the Employment Contracts Act. This change will remain in force until 31 December 2020.

Press release 23 June 2020: Measures that have brought security and flexibility to labour markets during coronavirus epidemic will be extended 

Questions and answers regarding the coronavirus and working life

Temporary extensions to unemployment benefit of laid-off employees and entrepreneurs to continue

The Government proposes that the legislative amendments relating to the unemployment benefit of laid-off employees and entrepreneurs and the activities of Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE Offices) be partly continued. The temporary amendments aim to safeguard the livelihoods of laid-off employees and entrepreneurs and to facilitate the handling of unemployment security matters amid the prolonged coronavirus pandemic.

Press release of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 19 November 2020: Temporary extensions to unemployment benefit of laid-off employees and entrepreneurs to continue 

Temporary changes to labour market training – Employment and Economic Development Offices may also offer degree studies

On 17 December 2020, the President of the Republic approved a legislative amendment according to which the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment and the Employment and Economic Development Offices can, subject to certain conditions, procure degree studies and offer them as part of labour market training  between 1 January 2021 and 30 June 2022. The aim of the amendment is to promote employment and to ensure the availability of skilled labour, especially in the growth sectors, while taking account of the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on the labour market.

The act enters into force on 1 January 2021 and remains in force until the end of June 2022. The studies referred to in the amendment must begin no later than on 30 June 2022 and end by 30 June 2024.

Press release of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 29 October 2020: The Government proposes temporary changes to labour market training – Employment and Economic Development Offices could also offer studies leading to a university degree

Local government pilots on employment to begin on 1 March 2021

The local government pilots on employment will begin on 1 March 2021 and end on 30 June 2023. During the pilots, certain tasks of TE Offices will be transferred to local governments. The pilots aim to increase the effectiveness of employment services by integrating central and local government resources, skills and services. A total of 25 areas and 118 municipalities will participate in the pilot projects.

The President of the Republic approved the Act on municipal experiments to promote employment on 30 December 2020.

Press release by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, 30 December 2020: Local government pilots on employment combine state and municipal resources to boost employment – pilots to start in March 2021

WThe Ministry's website for local government pilots on employment

Revising the maximum amounts of compensatory fines under the Collective Agreements Act

On 10 December 2020, the Government issued a decree by which the maximum amounts of compensatory fines laid down in the Collective Agreements Act are revised in line with monetary revaluation. According to the Act, the amounts must be revised by decree every three years.

The Decree is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2021.

Using a legislative amendment to secure appropriations for pay subsidies and start-up grants 

Under a temporary provision that was about to end at the turn of the year, employment benefit appropriations may be used to finance pay subsidies, start-up grants for unemployed jobseekers and hiring of employees for the central government. In November, Parliament passed a bill that will make the provision remain in force until further notice.

The Act enters into force on 1 January 2021. 

Using a legislative amendment to secure appropriations for pay subsidies and start-up grants (in finnish)

Extension to the maximum duration of start-up funding will not apply to self-employed people starting a business in 2021

According to the temporary legislative amendment on the maximum duration of start-up funding, extended start-up grants will be available to self-employed people who begin their business with a start-up grant no later than 31 December 2020. Since the Act will remain in force until 31 December 2021, these entrepreneurs can be given an extension of six months next year, if they can justify it based on the Covid-19 epidemic. However, extended start-up grants will not be available for self-employed people starting their business in 2021. Normally, the maximum duration of start-up funding is 12 months.

The temporary decree amendment concerning the payment of start-up grants will end on  31 December 2020. From the beginning of the year, start-up grants will be paid as normal for the days when the self-employed person is working for their business.

Press release of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 23 June 2020: Extension to the maximum duration of start-up funding remains in force

Amendments to secure the status of employees in case of piracy or armed robbery against the ship to enter into force on 26 December 2020

Provisions have been added to the regulations of the International Labour Organization’s Maritime Labour Convention concerning a situation where a seafarer is detained as a result of piracy or an armed robbery against the ship. The purpose of the provisions is to ensure the continuity of seafarers’ employment contracts and salary payments in such events.

Press release of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 03/12/2020: Amendments to secure the status of employees in case of piracy or armed robbery against the ship to enter into force on 26 December 2020

Enforcement of competition law to become more effective

The Government submitted a proposal to amend the Competition Act on 5 November 2020. The amendments are mainly based on a Directive that will enhance and harmonise the enforcement of the EU’s competition rules within the territory of the Union. The implementation of the Directive will extend the powers of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority.

The Government proposes that the amended Act will enter into force on 4 February 2021 as the Directive requires.

Press release of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 5 November 2020: Enforcement of competition law to become more effective

Company focusing on international activities to be established at the Geological Survey of Finland

The Government proposes that the Geological Survey of Finland could manage some of their expert services associated with their international activities by establishing a separate new company. The Government submitted its legislative proposal to Parliament on 5 November 2020.

The act is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2021.

News of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 5 November 2020: Company focusing on international activities to be established at the Geological Survey of Finland (in finnish)

New market surveillance tasks for the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency

The Government proposes to amend the Act on the Market Surveillance of Certain Products. The proposal is related to the national implementation of the EU’s new Market Surveillance Regulation and the Regulation on mutual recognition.

The Regulation entered into force in July 2019. Its application will mainly begin in July 2021, but in part already on 1 January 2021.

Press release of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 5 October 2020: New market surveillance tasks for the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency

Updated Act on the Sustainability Criteria for Biomass Used in Energy Production enters into force at the turn of the year

The legislative amendment seeks to ensure that the biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels used in Finland are produced sustainably and that they can be taken into account in the EU renewable energy targets and in the obligation concerning the share of renewable energy in transport. Following the amendment, the increased scope of the Act will increase the number of regulated operators will from 15 to approximately 150.

Press release of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 10 December 2020: Updated Act on the Sustainability Criteria for Biomass Used in Energy Production enters into force at the turn of the year (in finnish)

Legislative amendment improves security arrangements in nuclear power stations to combat new threats

Amendments are made the Nuclear Energy Act and the Security Clearance Act with a view to preparing for new threats against nuclear power stations, such as the use of drones. Legislation is also developed to better meet the requirements laid down in the Constitution Act with regard to the powers and use of force of nuclear power station security personnel. The Acts entered into force on 21 December 2020.

Press release of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 10 December 2020: Legislative amendment improves security arrangements in nuclear power stations to combat new threats (in finnish)

Water bills to be based on actual consumption in each apartment

In future, remotely read water meters for both warm and cold water will be installed in each apartment in new buildings with multiple apartments, and water bills will be based on actual measured consumption. From 23 November 2020, these requirements will apply to new buildings for which a building permit is applied. Existing housing companies will switch to billing based on actual consumption gradually, with the installation of remotely read water meters in connection with the water and sewage system renovations.

Press release of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 21 November 2020: Water bills to be based on actual consumption in each apartment – Remotely read water meters to be installed in old housing companies during water and sewage system renovations

Energy communities to facilitate the distribution of self-generated electricity in neighbourhoods

Provisions on local energy communities and the group of active customers and their tasks will be added to the Decree on assessment and measurement of electricity supply. 

In the future, the Decree will lay down rules on the distribution of electricity produced jointly in the assessment of electricity supply, that is, the calculation of compensation and the netting of the consumption and production of electricity at the point of use in the assessment of electricity supply.

The calculation of compensation enables the distribution of produced or stored electricity to an energy community or to sites belonging to an active customer group, using the measurement equipment of the distribution system operator, when the distribution takes place on the same property or group of properties.

Press release by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, 22 December 2020: Energy communities to facilitate the distribution of self-generated electricity in neighbourhoods (in Finnish)

Temporary amendments to business development aid to continue until 30 June 2021

On 30 December 2020, the Government issued a Decree, which will extend the validity of the temporary amendments to the Government Decree on Discretionary Government Transfers to Develop Business Operations. The amendments entered into force earlier in the autumn. The Decree applies to business development aid granted by the ELY Centres. The temporary amendments allow the granting of business development aid in the form of temporary State aid for a maximum of EUR 800,000 and the granting of aid to small companies that have been in difficulties before 1 January 2020.

Press release by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, 30 December 2020: Temporary amendments to business development aid to continue until 30 June 2021

Regional transport subsidy to continue in 2020–2022

The Government issued a Decree on regional transport subsidy for 2020–2022 on 30 December 2020. The content of the regional transport subsidy will remain largely unchanged compared with the previous Decree on transport subsidy for 2018–2019. The regional transport subsidy aims to reduce the additional costs of long transport journeys by companies operating in sparsely populated areas, and thereby improve the conditions for business activities in these areas.

The Decree will enter into force on 1 January 2021.

Press release by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, 30 December 2020: Regional transport subsidy to continue in 2020–2022

Chargeable services of ELY Centres, TE Offices and KEHA Centre in 2021

On 30 December, the Government issued a Decree on chargeable services by the ELY Centres, TE Offices and KEHA Centre for 2021. The Decree lays down which services are chargeable, which services will be charged on the basis of the cost price or a lower price, and which services will be priced on a commercial basis.

The Decree will enter into force on 1 January 2021 and remain in force until 31 December 2021.

News of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, 30 December 2020: Chargeable services of ELY Centres, TE Offices and KEHA Centre in 2021

Reduced administrative burden for small food service businesses in preparing financial statements

Restaurants were closed to customers between 4 April and 31 May 2020 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. When approving the restrictions, Parliament required compensation for reasonable costs and measures to mitigate the effects of the restrictions. The Act on support and compensation for restaurants entered into force on 5 June 2020. An amendment to the Act will become effective on 1 January 2021.

The amendment will reduce the administrative burden and costs of small companies by simplifying the accounting obligations regarding compensation. The amendment is based on the European Commission’s decision to relax the State aid rules.

The amendment does not require any special measures from food and beverage businesses. It is sufficient that the financial statement indicates the company is a small enterprise within the meaning of the amendment.

Press release by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, 26 November 2020: Reduced administrative burden for small food service businesses in preparing financial statements

Act on conflict minerals to promote transparency of supply chains and responsible procurement

Conflict minerals originate in conflict and high-risk areas and include tin, tantalum, tungsten and their ores as well as gold. In some areas, the proceeds from the sale of the minerals are used to finance violent conflicts or human rights violations.

The Act will bring Finland’s conflict minerals regime into line with EU regulations. In order to reduce these problems, the European Union has established a system for supply chain due diligence that imposes new obligations on importers of conflict minerals. The system will impose new obligations on companies importing minerals.

Press release by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, 30 December 2020: Act on conflict minerals to promote transparency of supply chains and responsible procurement

Decree on subsidy to promote circular economy and sustainable green growth

The Government’s Decree on business subsidy to promote the circular economy and green growth. The key objective of the circular economy is to preserve products, materials and their value in the economic cycle for as long as possible.

A subsidy may be granted for investment projects that exceed the European Union's standards for environmental protection or improve the level of environmental protection in the absence of EU standards. In addition, the Decree allows the granting of subsidies for investment projects on recycling and reuse of waste.

Press release by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, 30 December 2020: Decree on subsidy to promote circular economy and sustainable green growth (in finnish)

Exceptions to the unemployment security

Press release: What should the unemployed take into account in the new year?

Press release updated on 31 December 2020

 
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