Amendments to the Aliens Act to prevent exploitation of foreign labour

Publication date 18.6.2021 14.26 | Published in English on 1.7.2021 at 13.23
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New provisions of the Aliens Act will prevent exploitation of foreign labour and improve the legal status of victims. The legislative amendment aims to make it easier to detect cases of exploitation and to protect victims of exploitation.

The Government proposed amendments to the Aliens Act on 17 June 2021. According to Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen, exploitation does not belong to the Finnish labour market and the new rules are a central element in combating the phenomenon.   

As a result of the amendments, a worker’s residence permit may be refused if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the employer intends to circumvent the provisions on entry or residence. However, a foreign jobseeker may obtain a residence permit for another employer. These changes will help the authorities prevent recruitment by employers who have exploited their staff in the past. 

If there is a reason to suspect that a person is a victim of exploitation, he or she will not lose their right to reside or work in Finland. Employees may continue to work for another employer or apply for a new residence permit to seek employment. This improves the victims’ legal status and helps the authorities to intervene in the exploitation. 

Amendments are part of measures against the exploitation of foreign labour

Because the proposed amendments are new, Parliament requires that their impact be closely monitored. The Government will submit a report on the impacts to the Employment and Equality Committee by the end of 2022. 

The legislative amendments, which are part of the Government’s efforts to combat the exploitation of foreign labour, have been prepared by a working group on the prevention of the exploitation of foreign labour under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.  In addition to the legislative reforms, the working group has prepared a Working in Finland information package and launched a multilingual counselling service for seasonal workers. 

More information: 
Press release of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 
Working in Finland brochure 
Multilingual counselling service 

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