The Government's proposed working life weakenings

The Government Programme includes several proposals that, if implemented, would significantly weaken the employee’s position. On this page, you will find OAJ’s views on the proposals which are especially aimed at you, our member. OAJ's goal is to negotiate and influence all the working life and unemployment security proposals of the government program. If necessary, we resort to pressure measures.


The goal of the government program to legislate an export-led labour market model would mean that it would be very difficult for OAJ and other unions to negotiate wage increases themselves. The salary increases agreed in the export industries would in practice determine the salary increase level in the teaching and research sector as well, and negotiations would become significantly more difficult. For example, getting a salary program or similar in the future would be very difficult in all our contract areas. This would likely lead to more strikes. OAJ cannot accept that the law would regulate the labour market model. OAJ must continue to negotiate the contracts themselves in the future, too. 


The first day of sick leave is proposed as unpaid, unless otherwise agreed in collective agreements. Currently, the first day of sick leave is paid in all OAJ's contract areas. In case the unpaid first day of sick leave were to be regulated by law, we would have to negotiate the matter again. This proposal would increase the number of people working while sick, which would certainly increase the number of infections in the workplace. The unpaid absence day would not apply to sick leave of more than five days or situations where the sick leave is due to an accident at work or an occupational disease. 

The government program proposes lowering the personal termination threshold for those in employment. Nowadays, the dismissal of an employee must have a valid and compelling reason. In the future, a valid reason would be sufficient as a basis for dismissal. It would be easier for the employer to dismiss an employee in the future than it is currently. This would significantly increase insecurity and thus weaken well-being in workplaces. 

A weakening of the criteria for fixed-term employment contracts is proposed for those in an employment relationship. According to the proposal, it would be possible to conclude fixed-term employment contracts in such a way that a fixed-term contract of a maximum of one year would not need to be justified at all in the future. At the moment, a valid reason is required for a fixed-term employment contract, such as a substitute. The change would most drastically affect, above all, our young members, who are in the early stages of their careers. 

The government's goal is to increase the working condition of unemployment insurance from six months to twelve months. Newly graduated teachers in particular are often hired for a temporary employment relationship lasting for the working season. After the end of the employment relationship in the spring, the working condition of earnings-related unemployment insurance would not be fulfilled. This would significantly affect the income of our members. 

The level of the earnings-related unemployment allowance would be cut in a strong gradation. Currently, earnings-related unemployment benefit is paid at the same level for 300, 400 or 500 days. In the future, the daily allowance level would be cut in stages during unemployment. The first cut of 20% would be made after 8 weeks of unemployment. Since job search periods are often long, the cut would practically affect all unemployed job seekers, even if they started to look for a new job right at the beginning of unemployment. 


The Cooperation Act must currently be followed in the private sector in workplaces with at least 20 people. The government wants to increase the scope of the Cooperation Act to workplaces with 50 employees. This would significantly reduce trust and dialogue in workplaces. This would also weaken the possibilities of local agreement. 

Negotiations in the private sector according to the Cooperation Act are proposed to be shortened from six weeks to three weeks and from 14 days to 7 days. This would mean losing three weeks' salary at the most if you are dismissed or laid off. 


The obligation to re-employ would be removed in private sector workplaces employing less than 50 people. The obligation to re-employ means the employer's obligation to hire an employee back if she/he has been dismissed due to the financial situation or the reorganization of operations and it is possible to offer similar or equivalent work within 4–6 months of the end of the employment relationship. 

The government proposes the abolition of adult education support. The OAJ finds this proposal completely outrageous. Adult education support has enabled the completion of degrees and, if necessary, training for a new profession. In the field of education, the support has been used especially for obtaining degrees in student counselling and special education. Adult education support has also supported coping and staying at work, especially during a long career. Now the subsidy is proposed to be abolished entirely. 

Job alternation leave has been particularly popular among those working in the fields of teaching, research and education. The employee currently has the option of agreeing on job alternation leave for a maximum of 180 days. Now the system of job alternation leave is proposed to be abolished.  

Job alternation leave has been particularly popular among those working in the fields of teaching, research and education. The employee currently has the option of agreeing on job alternation leave for a maximum of 180 days. Now the system of job alternation leave is proposed to be abolished.  

The use of political strikes is proposed to be limited to a maximum of one day. The level of the restitution fine imposed for illegal industrial action is proposed to be significantly increased only for the wage earner side. In addition, the use of support strikes is proposed to be significantly restricted. 

According to the government program, an employee could be fined 200 euros for participating in industrial action. Industrial action is always a collective action. OAJ considers this presentation unheard of. 

The government wants to expand local agreements. In the future, employers who do not belong to the employer's union and do not have a personnel representation system could also take advantage of the possibilities of local bargaining. Today, there is a limitation in the law according to which deviations from the law can be negotiated locally only for an organized employer. 

OAJ's position is that local bargaining should continue to take place through collective agreements, so that the employer's bargaining partner is a shop steward. OAJ will do everything to ensure that if the basis of local bargaining is changed, it is done in a balanced way and taking into account the position of the employees. Local agreement must not turn into unilateral dictation. 



When will these come into force?

These are all proposals of the new government, none of them have yet passed into law. At OAJ, we do everything we can to secure the position of our members in working life.

Which of these is the worst issue?

According to OAJ, tying wage increases very strongly to the export sector is the most worrisome proposal. This would mean that it would be very difficult to get such increases in sectors with a wage gap that the wages would even impr

What is OAJ doing to prevent these weakenings from happening?

OAJ works actively to prevent the implementation of the government's plans. OAJ's goal is always primarily to reach a solution through negotiation and influence. However, we have announced the raising of readiness and the readiness to use organizational measures. Every member plays an important role in this: Follow this page and your email and get information about OAJ's plans.