Framework Conditions in Finland

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Regulation in Finland

Since 2005, companies in Finland are obliged to foster gender equality as well as to lift barriers to gender equality. Companies with more than 30 employees have to publish annually a gender equality plan with information on job classifications and the pay gap. In addition, this plan has to include information on how the respective company is going to push for more gender equality within the coming year.

In general, each employee or trade unions have the right to ask for information on his or her job, related classification and evaluation to ensure a high degree of transparency with regard to wages and wage setting.

An Equality Board and the Ombudsman for Equality are institutions enforcing gender equality and equal pay. In case of disputes, bot institutions can impose fines on those discriminating. Furthermore, the Ombudsman can visit companies and examine their wage structures, if they are suspected to discriminate. The Ombudsman for Equality as well as the National Discrimination and Equality Tribunal monitor the implementation of laws combatting gender discrimination.

Non-discrimination Act 1325/2014

"The Non-discrimination Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, origin, nationality, language, religion, belief, opinion, political activity, trade union activity, family relationships, state of health, disability, sexual orientation, or other personal characteristics. The Non-discrimination Act also has stipulations on the advancement of non-discrimination."[1]

Employment Contracts Act Act 55/2001

"The Employment Contracts Act includes the requirement of equal treatment, prohibiting improper treatment of an employee, and includes regulations for return from family leave."[2]

Equal Pay Programme 2006-2015

With its Equal Pay Programme, the Finish government, employers and trade unions have agreed to reduce the gender pay gap from 20 per cent in 2006 to 15 per cent in 2015. In 2013, the gender pay gap stayed at 18.7 per cent showing a general trend towards a declining pay gap, yet, the goal has not been reached.

Still, it remains remarkable that Finland is among the very few countries setting concrete targets to reduce the gender pay gap. Most countries state their willingness to reduce the pay gap and formulate policy plan, however, concrete numbers are often not formulated.


  1. Ministry of Social Affairs and Health: Gender Equality - Legislation
  2. Ministry of Social Affairs and Health: Gender Equality - Legislation

European Commission: Legislation and Equality Plans

European Commission: Job evaluation free from gender bias / making pay differences transparant

Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes: Gesetzgebung zur Entgeltgleichheit im internationalen Vergleich

Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes: Gleiche Arbeit, ungleicher Lohn? Zahlen und Fakten zu Entgeltungleichheit in Deutschland und Europa

European added value of applying the principle of Equal Pay for men and women for equal work or work of equal value - Research Paper

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health Finland: Towards Equal Pay