Micro enterprises also experience above-average numbers of disputes
Disputes are more common in small companies, and are often related to dismissals. Photo: Getty Images
Making dismissal easier would still be a risk to employees even if the threshold in the draft law were lowered to apply to companies with less than 10 employees. PAM’s statistics show that in these so-called micro enterprises disputes are much more common than on average.
The government is now planning that workers could be dismissed on personal grounds more easily than before in companies with less than 10 employees, whereas the threshold in the original draft law was 20 employees. However, this does not alter the fact that dismissals would be made easier in those companies where disputes are already most common. As stated previously on PAM’s website, statistics show that private service-sector companies with less than 20 employees have relatively more disputes than in large companies, and even more so in micro enterprises with less than 10 employees.
An estimated 21% of employees in PAM sectors work in companies with less than 10 employees, according to data from Statistics Finland. However, last year around 31% of disputes in PAM’s disagreement register concerned workers in companies with less than 10 employees. To put it another way, employees in micro enterprises were 70% more likely to face a problem at work ending up as a dispute to be resolved by PAM.
In total PAM dealt with 892 dispute cases last year.
PAM’s Bargaining Manager Juha Ojala suggested in an earlier news item that one reason for the situation could be that some small companies do not know the laws and collective agreements well enough. Small companies often do not have a dedicated human resources manager or other specialist in employment matters, he explained.
PAM members contact the union around 50,000 times a year on labour relations issues. Each year, just under a thousand of these cases - last year it was 892 - are recorded as disputes. And of these a couple of hundred a year go all the way to court. As many as half of the disputes and the cases going all the way to court are related to dismissals.
PAM has opposed the draft law on easier dismissal as it is discriminatory, increases uncertainty and is ineffective.