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Obligation to work in the healthcare sector secures the adequacy of workforce

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 27.3.2020 15.26 | Published in English on 31.3.2020 at 11.58
Press release
A nurse working in hospital.

Government, in cooperation with the President of the Republic, has declared a state of emergency in Finland over the coronavirus outbreak. On 25 March 2020, the Government issued a decree to implement the obligation of healthcare professionals to carry out work laid down in the Emergency Powers Act.

The aim is to ensure the sufficiency of labour force in the healthcare sector so that labour shortage caused by the coronavirus epidemic does not endanger human lives. The Decree will be in force from 26 March 2020 to 13 April 2020 throughout Finland.

The TE Office is responsible for the implementation of the obligation to work, and issues work orders to persons covered by the obligation. In line with the decree, people working in both public and private healthcare who have received training in the field and who have reached the age of 18 but not 68 may be required to work.

An order to work is issued based on the needs of the healthcare system and on individual discretion regarding the person obliged to work. The Emergency Powers Act contains separate provisions on limitations on issuing orders to work and on other matters to be taken into account when issuing orders. A person who is covered by the obligation to work in the healthcare sector and has been issued with a work order must carry out necessary work in the healthcare sector.

The obligation to work can be introduced to safeguard resources for the performance of any necessary tasks in the healthcare sector during the state of emergency caused by the coronavirus epidemic, not just the treatment of coronavirus patients. 

The Emergency Powers Act lays down provisions on the status and rights of persons obliged to work. These provisions concern the reporting duties of people obliged to work, the content of an order to work, restrictions on issuing an order to work and matters to be taken into account when issuing an order to work. In addition, provisions on the employment relationship of a person obliged to work, the terms and conditions of the employment relationship, the employer’s obligation to disclose information and the work obligation register will apply.  

Elina Isoksela, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 063 719
Jaska Siikavirta, Director, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 394

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