Residence permit holders given an opportunity to work in tasks essential for security of supply and functioning of the labour market

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 2.4.2020 15.23 | Published in English on 6.4.2020 at 13.43
Press release

The Government proposes a temporary amendment to the Aliens Act and the Seasonal Workers Act that would allow all third-country nationals residing legally in Finland to work in sectors and tasks that are essential for the security of supply and the functioning of the labour market. On 2 April 2020, the Government submitted to Parliament a proposal for acts on the temporary amendment of the Aliens Act and the Seasonal Workers Act.

Due to the coronavirus situation, it is a challenge to have a sufficient number of workers, especially seasonal workers, in the horticultural, agricultural and natural products industries, but also in the construction and shipbuilding sectors, as well as in the energy, technology, logistics and transport sectors. Foreigners with work-based residence permits who have been laid off and who may become unemployed could be employed in sectors with a labour shortage, especially for seasonal work in agriculture.

The existing legislation on immigrants does not allow a change of occupation from the sector mentioned in the first residence permit to another sector; for this, the person would have to apply for an extended permit. When a person applies for an extended permit, labour market test will no longer be applied, permitting change of sectors. According to the proposal, provisions would be added to the Aliens Act and the Seasonal Workers Act that would allow all third-country nationals residing legally in Finland to work in sectors and tasks that are essential for the security of supply and the functioning of the labour market.

These provisions would apply to all valid and new residence permits, visas and seasonal work certificates until 31 December 2020. The provisions would enter into force as soon as possible and remain in force until 31 December 2020.

Inquiries:
Olli Sorainen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 8022