Co-operation between the employer and staff at workplaces is a statutory right and duty. The purpose of the YT Act is to promote good staff-employer relations and provide channels for staff to influence decisions that affect their work and workplaces.
The YT Act applies in businesses with a regular staff of at least 20 employees. Smaller enterprises may also engage in co-operation procedures, either as directed in a collective agreement or in accordance with custom and practice at the workplace.
The scope of co-operation includes the following issues:
changes in work organisation that substantially affect the status of staff,
any service arrangements that materially affect the staff,
the principles and plans for staff development and equal treatment, and for internal communications at the workplace,
any reduction to part-time employment, layoffs or redundancies implemented for reasons of economy or production,
the criteria for using agency workers, and
the reasons for assigning business operations to another owner, together with the timing and consequences of such a measure.
A Co-operation Ombudsman oversees compliance with legislation on workplace co-operation and other arrangements for industrial democracy. The Co-operation Ombudsman is an official of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy who serves as a liaison for employers and employees.
A special YT Act for the local government sector seeks to enable staff to reach a common understanding with the employer on participation in measures to improve local government operations, to give staff an opportunity to influence the process of policymaking concerning their own work and colleagues, and to promote the effectiveness of local authority service provision and the quality of working life for staff. The parties to this co-operation are the local authority and its staff. The staff may be represented by a shop steward, by a labour protection delegate, or by some other person appointed by the staff for this purpose.
Co-operation in the church is governed by the church co-operation agreement, which seeks to promote co-operation between the employer and church employees, and to enable employee participation and influence when considering issues affecting work and the workplace, and health and safety at work.
The national government sector is covered by the Act on Co-operation in Government Agencies and Institutions, which seeks to establish common ground in developing co-operation in government agencies and enabling staff to influence policymaking within these agencies concerning work, working conditions and the status of staff, while enhancing the quality of the world of work and the performance and economic efficiency of national government operations. The scope of co-operation is largely the same as in other sectors of the labour market.
Text edited by: Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions – SAK, Confederation of Finnish Industries – EK, Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland – Akava, Finnish Confederation of Salaried Employees – STTK, KT Local Government Employers, Labour Market Organisation of the Church – KiT, Office for the Government as Employer – VTML