The Finnish government is preparing to withdraw some of the exceptional measures imposed on the labor market by the coronavirus crisis and for a gradual return to normalcy, after a spring and summer marked by decisions that sought to promote the availability of labour, especially in essential sectors for the economy.
Due to the coronavirus epidemic, the government made legislative amendments in the spring to allow third-country nationals residing in Finland with a residence permit or a permit based on the Seasonal Workers Act to change employer and field of employment without applying for an extended permit.
These amendments enabled such foreigners to work in duties central to the security of supply and to the functioning of the labour market. However, these temporary provisions will expire on 31 October 2020, says the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
“The amendment alleviated the shortage of labour in sectors essential to the security of supply during the emergency conditions. At that time, the borders were closed and seasonal workers were needed in agriculture. However, the situation is different now and there is no need to extend the temporary regulation,” says Sonja Hämäläinen, Migration Director at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
Return to normal
“We will return to the normal practice from the beginning of November. However, the Ministry continues to monitor the situation and will make amendments to the regulations if necessary,” Hämäläinen says.
From the start of November, immigrants can no longer change occupation from the sector mentioned in the first residence permit to another sector without applying for an extended permit.
"With an extended permit, the change of occupation is possible," the Ministry says.