Finland Times

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Home BUSINESSBerry pickers to be employed on contract
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Sat, 15 Mar, 2014 04:25:59 AM
FTimes Report, March 15

Employment ministry’s Director General Markku Wallin, who has examined the working conditions of foreign seasonal workers who come to Finland to pick berries in the forests, proposed

that contracts of employment be established between pickers and the companies buying berries.

The work was subject to an employment relationship, said an official press release on Friday.

Currently, berry pickers are not regarded as being employed nor are they regarded as self-employed.

Over 4,000 people come to Finland as berry pickers each year, the majority from Thailand.

"The legal status of berry pickers needs to be clarified because the risks to the pickers are great and they are in a weak position," said Wallin.
 
If berry picking is done on the basis of a contract of employment, the whole of Finland's labour legislation must be applied to the pickers, unless the law allows for exceptions in its application.
 
The income of pickers with a contract of employment is taxed as salaried income in accordance with the lower rate for seasonal work.  
 
On October 7, 2013, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs asked Wallin to put forward proposals to rectify the anomalies in the conditions of foreign forest berry pickers, the release mentioned.
 

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