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Ministers to meet in Brussels to discuss equality in working life and reception of Ukrainian refugees

Ministry of Economic Affairs and EmploymentMinistry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 14.3.2022 10.13 | Published in English on 14.3.2022 at 11.04
Press release 68/2022

EU ministers responsible for employment and social affairs will meet to discuss gender equality in boards of listed companies, prevention of discrimination in recruitment and ways of increasing diversity in working life. The ministers will also discuss the reception of Ukrainian refugees.

The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) will meet in Brussels on 14 March 2022. Finland’s representatives at the meeting will be Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen and Minister of Social Affairs and Health Hanna Sarkkinen

The Council will have three policy debates. The first policy debate will focus on the prevention of discrimination in recruitment and on ways of promoting diversity in working life. During the debates, the ministers will share experiences and tools to solve the addressed problems. Finland will present at the meeting measures that it has used to tackle discrimination in recruitment, and its working life diversity programme, for example. 

“Diversity and the prevention of discrimination play a key role in promoting the employment of immigrants and Finland’s prospects of attracting skilled labour, international students and investments. Diversity in workplaces is also an asset for companies,” says Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen.

The EU ministers will also discuss how to encourage elderly people to remain in the workforce. Finland will present a proposal concerning the promotion of the employment of people aged 55 and over, which will be submitted to Parliament this spring. The aim is to improve their opportunities to participate in the labour market.

“Living longer is the success story of our society. In the spirit of the wellbeing economy, investments in supporting active and healthy ageing and competence and in maintaining capacity and ability to work will also support longer careers,” says Minister of Social Affairs and Health Hanna Sarkkinen.

Situation in Ukraine also on the agenda

The ministers will also discuss the reception of Ukrainian refugees. The Council will be presented with a proposal for Cohesion’s Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE) related to supporting refugees arriving in Europe from Ukraine. Minister Haatainen will speak on the matter at the meeting. In addition, Minister Haatainen will attend a lunch meeting where the ministers will discuss the situation in Ukraine with representatives of the Red Cross.

Finland is prepared to receive refugees from Ukraine. The aim is to identify the health and social services needs of people receiving temporary protection and refer them to the necessary services. People receiving temporary protection are also offered screening tests for infectious diseases and vaccinations as necessary.

The Council is also to adopt a general approach on the directive on the gender balance on boards of listed companies and on related measures. Finland supports the adoption of the general approach.

Inquiries:

Jiri Sironen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 40450 9077, [email protected]
Juuli Hakulinen, specialist, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358295 163 651, [email protected]
Liisa Heinonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 4131, [email protected]
Piritta Jokelainen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Employment, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358295 047 353, [email protected]

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