Employer forces to change permanent full-time to part-time.

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leugs
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Employer forces to change permanent full-time to part-time.

Post by leugs » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:16 pm

Hello,

My employer just started cooperation negociation, because "demand at work has decreased" (the truth underneath is that they want to transfer work to low-cost countries).

They want to change our full-time permanent contracts to "0-160h"

Basically what they offer to us:
option 1: they unilaterally change our contract to part-time. We will be eligible for adjusted earnings-related (or basic) allowance.
option 2: we resign, and we will have to wait 3 months before we get allowance.

They say "we won't give any contract termination or lay-off".

So my questions...
Is it legal in Finland to force employees to change their full-time permanent to hourly based?
Anyone had a similar experience? Any advice?

Thanks!



Employer forces to change permanent full-time to part-time.

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EP
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Re: Employer forces to change permanent full-time to part-time.

Post by EP » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:02 pm

I have, during the last recession in 1990´s. "Tuotannollisista ja taloudellisista syistä". There is nothing you can do.


TampereOwl
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Re: Employer forces to change permanent full-time to part-time.

Post by TampereOwl » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:13 pm

Ask your shop steward, or these people, not The Internet.


leugs
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Re: Employer forces to change permanent full-time to part-time.

Post by leugs » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:48 pm

TampereOwl wrote:Ask your shop steward, or these people, not The Internet.
Tyosuojelu said that employer cannot force anyone to resign if we don't accept the part-time, they have to terminate your contract.
shop steward said "basically they can do whatever they want, you will get the new contract automatically. if you don't agree, you resign"... it seems shop steward is on employer's side.


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Cory
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Re: Employer forces to change permanent full-time to part-time.

Post by Cory » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:19 pm

leugs wrote:Tyosuojelu said that employer cannot force anyone to resign if we don't accept the part-time, they have to terminate your contract.
shop steward said "basically they can do whatever they want, you will get the new contract automatically. if you don't agree, you resign"... it seems shop steward is on employer's side.
Sorry to hear about the problems at work.

I would like to ask though... If your employer is having a difficult time economically (which is the norm these days rather than the exception), what exactly should they do? Rather than go bankrupt, they are reducing people's hours. For those who hang in there and wait out the recession with reduced hours, they might just be "rewarded" once the business gets the bulk of sales back again in a year or 2.

As hard as it is to adjust to a reduction in hours, at least those being offered this reduction, rather than a total layoff, still have work. The most recent stats estimate close to a 10% unemployment rate in 2010.
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TampereOwl
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Re: Employer forces to change permanent full-time to part-time.

Post by TampereOwl » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:41 pm

leugs wrote:
TampereOwl wrote:Ask your shop steward, or these people, not The Internet.
Tyosuojelu said that employer cannot force anyone to resign if we don't accept the part-time, they have to terminate your contract.
shop steward said "basically they can do whatever they want, you will get the new contract automatically. if you don't agree, you resign"... it seems shop steward is on employer's side.
Sounds like you sit tight and wait for the payoff, then. Did you tell the Työsuojelu what the shop steward said? Because I would be extremely suspicious of the Union's advice there.

What is the makeup of the workforce at your company, btw? Mainly Finns, mainly foreigners, or equal parts? Is there any difference in Union advice to the Finns and the foreigners?


TampereOwl
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Re: Employer forces to change permanent full-time to part-time.

Post by TampereOwl » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:45 pm

Cory wrote:
leugs wrote:Tyosuojelu said that employer cannot force anyone to resign if we don't accept the part-time, they have to terminate your contract.
shop steward said "basically they can do whatever they want, you will get the new contract automatically. if you don't agree, you resign"... it seems shop steward is on employer's side.
Sorry to hear about the problems at work.

I would like to ask though... If your employer is having a difficult time economically (which is the norm these days rather than the exception), what exactly should they do? Rather than go bankrupt, they are reducing people's hours. For those who hang in there and wait out the recession with reduced hours, they might just be "rewarded" once the business gets the bulk of sales back again in a year or 2.

As hard as it is to adjust to a reduction in hours, at least those being offered this reduction, rather than a total layoff, still have work. The most recent stats estimate close to a 10% unemployment rate in 2010.
0-160 hours means, in all probability, less than unemployment benefit. If there company's in difficulties then that's almost certianly the fault of management, not leugs.

They could very easily just be trying it on, in what sounds like an illegal fashion.


leugs
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Re: Employer forces to change permanent full-time to part-time.

Post by leugs » Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:28 pm

If your employer is having a difficult time economically (which is the norm these days rather than the exception), what exactly should they do?
According to some reliable source, the company is economically doing more than fine.
They just try to save money by transfering most of our work to low-cost countries, and hiring us on demand (=when the work is too complex to be done by "low-cost" people)
Rather than go bankrupt, they are reducing people's hours.
Then, why are they telling, that it's either we accept, either we leave, that they won't fire us or lay us off?

As hard as it is to adjust to a reduction in hours, at least those being offered this reduction, rather than a total layoff, still have work. The most recent stats estimate close to a 10% unemployment rate in 2010.
People should still have the "layoff" (or "you are fired") option. Apparently, if they layoff or fire us, they would be forbidden to hire new people to replace us. This is why they are "forcing" us to accept or resign.
Did you tell the Työsuojelu what the shop steward said? Because I would be extremely suspicious of the Union's advice there.
yes someone told them. Apparently if we can prove that he doesn't do his job right, we can ask to have a new one.
What is the makeup of the workforce at your company, btw? Mainly Finns, mainly foreigners, or equal parts? Is there any difference in Union advice to the Finns and the foreigners?
The company is Finnish. Most people in management are Finnish. All people who are ask to go "part-time" are foreigners.
Union replies to our emails one week later, and they never clearly answers to our questions...


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Pursuivant
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Re: Employer forces to change permanent full-time to part-time.

Post by Pursuivant » Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:35 pm

That stinks to high heaven. But the unions, as usual are useless [email protected]
"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes."


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mrjimsfc
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Re: Employer forces to change permanent full-time to part-time.

Post by mrjimsfc » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:01 am

Hang in there! Maybe enough of the other "foriegners" will leave that you will have a full time job anyway. Outsourcing jobs to another country often doesn't work out as well as the parent company hopes. The home team often spend more time correcting errors than they spent just doing all the work before. The company you work for is about to find out the "hard way".
Socialism has never managed to create anything beyond corpses, poverty and oppression.


CatNip
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Re: Employer forces to change permanent full-time to part-time.

Post by CatNip » Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:36 am

Hi,

Do not sign any papers with your employer when the situation is like this. Employer is able to reduce the working hours after the certain procedures, YT-neuvottelut (co-operation negotiations) only.
The law related to the process says:
Employer’s proposal for commencement of the co-operation negotiations
The employer shall issue a written proposal for negotiations in order to commence the co-operation negotiations and employment measures at the latest five days prior to commencement of the negotiations if the employer is considering to serve notice of termination, lay-off or reduce a contract of employment into a part-time contract of one or several employees.
The proposal for negotiations shall include at least the commencement time and place of the negotiations and an outline of the suggested agenda to be handled in the negotiations.


Basically, employer needs to present the financial figures to the shop steward and negotiate with employees about all measures what can be taken that savings can take place. If there will be layoffs or working hours will be reduced, the employer needs to have a valid reason. Employer is also responsible notifying the employment office that reduction of the working hours will take place. This law can be found at http://www.finlex.fi/en/laki/kaannokset ... 070334.pdf

Most important thing here is: DO NOT RESIGN YOURSELF. As you mentioned, you will then 3 months without any benefits. Employer does not have any measures to force you to resign yourself. If they want to get rid of you, they are of course free to give you a golden handshake.


If you don't find any help from the union, contact the employment office http://www.mol.fi/mol/fi/toimistot.jsp or the occupational health district. http://www.tyosuojelu.fi/fi/Hatsp/. Governmental offices are responsible of supervising that the law and collective agreements are followed. In this kind of situations they might act faster than a union.
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Tiwaz
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Re: Employer forces to change permanent full-time to part-time.

Post by Tiwaz » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:45 am

leugs wrote: The company is Finnish. Most people in management are Finnish. All people who are ask to go "part-time" are foreigners.
Union replies to our emails one week later, and they never clearly answers to our questions...
Now, regarding Union replies. Are you sure you clearly ask your questions?
It is easy, I have myself done this often, to ask questions which are so badly formed that response is bound to be bad as well.

Have you had native Finn being in contact with Union? It would take one potential issue from communication, even though it would not guarantee that this native can present questions in good form. But it would be worth the shot.


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Karhunkoski
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Re: Employer forces to change permanent full-time to part-time.

Post by Karhunkoski » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:19 am

I noticed two commnets, which raises a question, they were:

"wait for the payoff" and "golden handshake".


As far as I understand if you're made redundant in Finland there is no "payoff" or "golden handshake", unlike some countries, e.g. England. Perhaps someone could clarify this for sure?
Political correctness is the belief that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.


DMC
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Re: Employer forces to change permanent full-time to part-time.

Post by DMC » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:28 am

CatNip wrote:This law can be found at http://www.finlex.fi/en/laki/kaannokset ... 070334.pdf
Thanks for the link. It is very interesting.

Para 62 says:
Employer, who has deliberately or negligently failed to observe the provisions of sections 45―51 in respect of an employee, whose contract has been terminated or reduced to a part-time contract or who has been laid off shall be liable to pay to the employee, whose contract was terminated or reduced to a part-time contract or who was laid off a maximum indemnification amount of 30 000 euros.
Am I correct in my understanding that if the employer blatantly disregards their obligations the maximum compensation the employee can receive is 30 000 euros? That this is the same for all employees regardless of salary? For higher paid staff this is not a lot of compensation, and is not in itself much deterrent to the employer.

In addition, Para 67 says:
The employer or his representative, who intentionally or negligently fails to observe or violates the provisions of sections 17, 20 or 22, 28(1) or (2), sections 30, 31, 34, 36, 41, 43 or 55, 56(1) or section 65 with the exception of the provisions in section 55 or 56 on the employer’s payment liability shall be imposed a fine for violation of the co-operation obligation.
This doesn't help the employee other than its possible deterrent value. How large can the fine be? Unless it is large it seems to me that an employer can ignore their obligations at very little risk, since the maximum employee compensation is so low.


EP
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Re: Employer forces to change permanent full-time to part-time.

Post by EP » Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:02 am

As far as I understand if you're made redundant in Finland there is no "payoff" or "golden handshake", unlike some countries, e.g. England. Perhaps someone could clarify this for sure?
There is if you are on the highest step of the ladder. Middle management does not count.


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