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Home NATIONALCompetitiveness package found mostly negative
Wed, 13 Jan, 2016 12:01:17 AM
FTimes – STT Report, Jan 13
Law books and a gavel. File Photo – Lehtikuva.
Most of the statements received on the proposed competitiveness package expressed negative views.
A total of 42 statements on the government’s proposal for coercive legislative measures aimed at boosting competitiveness were handed in time and 41 of them have already been reviewed.
Half of the statements are negative while a little less than 30 per cent are positive about the government measures.
Even though the employers’ organisation in their statement welcomed the government’s proposal, its support is not entirely absolute, as it has called for a number of changes to be made to the draft, said a summary from the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.
Several of the statements urged the government to evaluate the impact of the measures on the economy and employment.
Both the employers and employees are dissatisfied with, for instance, the proposal to change Maundy Thursday and Epiphany to unpaid holidays. 
“The employees are concerned about reduced pay and the employers consider the model ineffective and impractical,” said the summary.
Negative or critical opinions from bodies not included in the tripartite setup such as economic research institutes and universities accounted for 62 per cent of the submitted statements while only seven per cent were positive.
Only one statement by constitutional experts, out of six, was submitted. According to Professor Niklas Bruun who submitted the lone statement, there are sections in the draft which conflict with international obligations which risk further processing of the draft in its current form. 
“In the light of this interpretation and taking into account the varying ways of paying wages and other benefits on annual holiday, there is probably a good chance that the envisaged system in some respect will conflict with the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights and the EU Working Time Directive because it may reduce economic benefits since it may reduce the economic benefits over a four-week period of paid annual leave,” remarked Bruun in his statement.
Bruun pointed out that the European Court has developed an extensive judicial practice which constitutes a kind of EU judicial annual leave regulation.
The government plans to table the draft before parliament in February.
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