Helsinki (03.02.2021 - Heikki Jokinen) In 2019, a total of 476 million euro was granted by way of tax credits for household expenses in Finland. Since 2001, taxpayers have been able to claim costs for the acquisition of household services such as cleaning, renovations at home or in the summer house and child care to gain tax credit deductions for these services.

At present, the price of work can be reduced by 40 per cent for tax purposes, up to a maximum amount of 2,250 euros per person. The rules and maximum amounts that one can deduct have been changing over the years, as the issue is politically charged. The maximum amount ever that was deductible has been 3,000 euro and maximum percentage 60.

The purpose of the tax break is to improve employment in the service sectors included in the scheme and reduce tax evasion.

However, a new study by the Labour Institute for Economic Research PT and the Institute for Economic Research VATT suggests that these household deductions fail to meet both objectives. The study by Jarkko Harju, Sami Jysmä, Aliisa Koivisto and Tuomas Kosonen is published by the Prime Minister's Office.

Helsinki (21.01.2021 - Heikki Jokinen) Two Finnish trade union confederations SAK and STTK view the EU Commission proposal for a minimum wage positively and support its objectives. The federations issued a joint statement on this in December.

They attach much importance to the fact that the draft directive is strongly based on the promotion of collective bargaining. The federations place great value on promoting a system based on sectoral collective agreements in the member states as a key element in the proposal. This resembles the Finnish labour market model, too.

"The directive must support an increase in the minimum wage, especially in low-wage EU countries, and the best way to do this is through collective bargaining", the federations say. A comprehensive collective bargaining system is the wage and salary earners' best friend, experience has shown.

Helsinki (17.12.2020 - Heikki Jokinen) The Finnish Government proposes to amend the law to oblige employers to pay compensation to employees for all non-compete clauses in their employment contracts. Trade unions have long drawn attention to the fact that the existing law is unfair and has led to a fast and wildly growing number of such clauses.

At the moment, it is legal, under certain conditions and for a maximum of half a year, to limit an employee’s right to take a new job in the same trade or start up their own business in the same business area of their former employer.

The core of the problem is that - for up to six months - this kind of ban costs the employer nothing. The use of non-compete clauses has been extended to many professions where there are no real grounds for it at all.