Supporting employment through public procurement

Requirement to provide employment helps those in a weaker labour market position 

Public procurement can promote social objectives. Employment through procurement means that a public contracting authority includes a requirement to employ in the invitation to tender and procurement contract or makes it an assessment criterion. This requires a selected contracting partner to employ persons in a weaker labour market position as defined by the contractor during the contract period. Such persons include the long-term unemployed or young people with prolonged unemployment.

The Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts (1397/2016) (hereinafter, the Act) allows the use of factors related to employment and employment promotion in procurement terms or criteria.

The programme to boost employment through procurement (ended on 31 March 2023) raised awareness of the operating model. Information on the operating model and matters related to the recruitment of employees is available from TE services and local government pilots on employment.

The Public Procurement Advisory Unit, which is part of the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, assists in the interpretation of the Act. The service is free of charge.

Guide on procurement and employment provides diverse information on the model
The Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities coordinated the project to boost employment through procurement in 2019–2023. It also prepared a guide on the matter. 
For example, the guide helps those public procurement units that are considering the use of employment through procurement for the first time. It also provides information and highlights good practices to contracting units that have already used the employment requirement in their procurement. The guide presents cases from the following municipalities participating in the pilot project: Vantaa-Kerava, Tampere, Turku, Kouvola, Oulu and Seinäjoki. 

Employment through procurement has been one of the themes in the Ministry of Finance’s Procurement Finland strategy. It will end at the end of 2023. Employment through procurement is discussed in the group on social sustainability. 

More information:

Päivi Haavisto-Vuori, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland, [email protected]