Jari Lindström (Blue Reform), the minister of employment, Juha Sipilä (Centre), the prime minister, and Petteri Orpo (NCP), the minister of finance, at the press conference at Kesäranta, Helsinki after negotiating with the Finnish labor unions about a new proposal to increase employment in small companies. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

“I wish that tomorrow peace will prevail in this country,” said Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) at the prime minister’s official residence Kesäranta late on Thursday evening.

Food shortages in daycare centers and congestion at airports and other labor strikes may soon be history as the government, after sitting down with the labor organizations on Thursday evening, reached a solution. Or more specifically, the government gave the unions a proposition that they cannot refuse. Or can they?

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After debating for months about, whether it would be right for small companies with a staff of 10 to have the right to sack their employees more easily (for misbehavior, for example), the government came up with a new proposition.

According to Petteri Orpo, the minister of finance, “no one is hiring to fire.” Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

“The number 10 would be removed from the bill,” said Petteri Orpo (NCP), the minister of finance. “This means that the right to fire would be flexible.”


“It’s obvious that companies with a staff of two are facing a different situation if one person would begin to stain the company’s image. The effect would be very different when, for example, comparing to a company of 20,” Orpo continued.

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Prime Minister Juha Sipilä stressed that since the introduction of the bill, the government’s intention has been to increase employment. “No one is hiring to fire someone. No one,” Orpo added.

In practice, if the “flexible proposal” would be added to the law, the courts would eventually decide, whether the company had sufficient reasons to lay off their employee.

But it would surely give the small company an advantage and could encourage to hire new employees more easily.

The labor unions SAK, STTK and Akava have until 14:00 on Friday afternoon to decide whether they accept the government’s new proposal.