On 17 December 2020, the Government submitted a proposal, which would make it easier for seasonal workers arriving to Finland from third countries (non EU/EEA countries) to change employers while they are in the country. The proposal would amend the Seasonal Workers Act concerning seasonal work undertaken in an employment relationship in agriculture and tourism.
According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the proposal will lighten the administrative burden on the employer. Under the current Act, foreign seasonal workers have been bound to the employer registered in their seasonal work permit.
As a result of the reform, employers would no longer be required to notify authorities separately of each seasonal worker arriving in Finland at the same time for the same kind of work. Instead, the employer could notify authorities of all seasonal workers at one time.
The proposal would also facilitate the return of seasonal workers to Finland. Most seasonal workers in agriculture return to the same employer. Such seasonal workers would not be required to provide a report on the conditions for employment. The Finnish Immigration Service assesses the employer’s ability to act as an employer in accordance with the requirements of the Act.
Sanctions against employers who fail to comply with the law would be specified by allocating responsibility also to responsible persons in the company or organisation.