Streamlining legislation at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

“Legal provisions will be improved” was one of the key projects of the Prime Minister Sipilä's Government. Its goal was to facilitate business operations and citizens’ everyday lives by means of deregulation and the modernisation of regulation.

As part of this process, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

  • has repealed the Act on Opening Hours of the Retail Trade and Barbers and Hairdressers (press release 30 December 2015)
  • has reduced accounting obligations for small businesses
  • has included in annual leave of five weeks or longer a personal contribution period for sickness during annual leave (press release 1 April 2016)
  • has streamlined gold panning (press release 29 June 2016)
  • has lengthened the probationary period for employees, eased the obligation to re-employ workers and removed the obligation to state reasons for hiring fixed-term employees (press release 16 June 2016)
  • has amended the unemployment security legislation to enable the use of unemployment benefits for promoting employment, i.e., to cover funding of start-up grants, wage subsidies and mobility allowances (press release 18 April 2016)
  • has harmonised appeal provisions in the legislation within the mandate of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (press release 29 September 2016)
  • has raised thresholds for competitive tendering (press release 29 December 2016)
  • has eased permit procedures for mining (press release 23 February 2017)
  • has improved cooperation in service provision through interoperable client data and reduced the administrative burden on clients and on operators producing services for businesses (government bill HE 18/2017 vp)
  • has changed the permit procedure for collection agencies into a notification procedure (government bill HE 206/2017 vp)

The Government has also submitted or plans to submit to Parliament legislative proposals to

  • enable recipients of unemployment benefits to study full-time for six months without losing eligibility for benefits in case of labour market training or self-motived studies supported with unemployment benefit (press release 19 April 2018)
  • create a Datahub for the electricity market to promote competition and make market entry easier for new operators (press release 20 September 2018)
  • increase opportunities to negotiate working hours at workplaces and introduce flexibility into working hour legislation (press release 27 September 2018)

The Ministry is also exploring new possibilities to deregulation and is currently examining, for example

  • the role of administration audits in the auditing process and the effects of raising the auditing thresholds
  • the possibilities of public authorities to get register data directly from the Finnish Patent and Registration Office without a separate obligation for companies to supply data to different authorities.

In addition, the Ministry has examined all authorisation and notification requirements in its administrative branch, and then carried out a number of deregulatory measures of a more technical nature. These measures have been smaller and they have had only a minor impact on the regulatory burden.