Finland state

Nearly 20,000 posted workers in Finland – shortcomings corrected by inspections of posting companies and subcontractors

In 2021, occupational safety and health inspectors have carried out more than 200 inspections in companies which post workers to Finland or are subcontractors of companies which post workers to Finland. Inspections were carried out within the framework of the control of the use of foreign labor in the five divisions of occupational safety and health of the State Regional Administrative Agency. The number of inspections increased considerably from the 113 inspections carried out last year.

Posting of workers means that a foreign company temporarily sends an employee to work in Finland while the company has agreed to provide services in Finland. The usual place of work of a posted worker is a country other than Finland. The legal basis for posting can be found in EU legislation, which is established in the Finnish Posting of Workers Act (447/2016). The objective is to ensure the protection of posted workers during their posting.

A posting company must inform the Occupational Safety and Health Authority when posting workers to Finland. These notifications provide information, among other things, on the extent of the phenomenon. Last year, a total of 10,003 posting notifications were filed from 57 different countries, involving nearly 20,000 employees. The three main countries of origin were Estonia, Germany and Poland according to the notifications.

Gaps in the remuneration of posted workers

Inspections concerning posted workers are aimed at foreign employers who send their employees to work in Finland and at subcontracting companies of posting companies. A total of 238 inspections were carried out last year. Most inspections have focused on the construction and industrial sectors where the largest number of posted workers is found.

The majority of the shortcomings discovered related to workers’ compensation. At a minimum, the remuneration of workers posted to Finland must be in accordance with the applicable collective agreement. The legality of pay was the subject of 85 inspections, of which 43 issued written opinions on the correction of workers’ pay. ‘We see the same shortcomings year after year,’ says head of unit Anna Partty from the Occupational Safety and Health Division of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southwest Finland. “It’s probably due to the turnover of checked employers, and employers who receive a lot of negative feedback no longer post their workers to Finland. However, some posting companies fix their procedures.

More neglect fees than before

The law on the posting of workers provides compensation for negligence for the posting company if it fails to fulfill certain obligations provided for by the same law. These obligations include the notification of posting, the appointment of a representative in Finland and the provision of certain information. Most of the costs related to the fact that no notification of posting of workers had been made. The total amount of royalties imposed so far was EUR 149,000 last year, compared to EUR 99,500 in 2020. It should be noted that some of the proceedings started in 2021 are still ongoing in relation to the imposition of the fee.

More than half of entrepreneurs received written advice

The contractors audited were mainly Finnish companies with a subcontractor or co-contractor who posted workers for the contractor in Finland. In more than half of these inspections, the occupational safety and health inspector issued a written opinion after noticing something to be corrected in the contractor’s operations. The most common reason for issuing a written notice was the contractor’s obligation to ensure that the co-contractor submitted a notification of posting of workers.

Contact authority gives advice and submits reports

The Occupational Safety and Health Division of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southwest Finland acts as the contact authority for general advice on posting legislation in Finland. The contact authority is also responsible for compiling control measures and notifications concerning posting on an annual basis.

Source: Occupational Safety and Health