I need information about supporting the ability to work

Your current or future employee might need support for their ability to work to ensure they can perform their job. At Job Market Finland, you can find information and services that help both in preventing issues related to work ability challenges and in finding solutions when an employee's reduced work ability has already started to hinder their work.

Do you need a new employee for your work community? When looking for an employee suitable for an open position, you can take advantage of your own networks, various job search sites, social media, or public employment services.

When you are looking for a new employee, you should first go through your own networks, as well as those of your acquaintances and employees. The right person can be easily found this way. However, a person with the required skills is not always found in these networks, and this is when you should publicly announce the vacancy.

Nowadays, there are a lot of different job search and job posting sites online that allow you to easily search for new employees. Also publish the vacancy on your own website. Make sure to submit your job posting to Job Market Finland.

As an employer, you should also utilise social media. For example, LinkedIn has a wide range of experts from various fields who are looking for a new job. Many employers report their vacancies on Twitter with a # recruitment tag. In addition to this, Facebook and Instagram can be used to find suitable employees. With paid marketing, you get more visibility for your job postings on social media. Job postings are also still published in newspapers.

A recruitment event is a good way to find employees quickly, easily and efficiently. When you want to organise a recruitment event, you can use the premises of the TE Office or its partners. You can also get free expert assistance on event planning. Contact the TE Office and arrange an event.

If an employee cannot be found regardless of efforts, you can apply for support from the TE Office or the municipal employment services.

If you would like to recruit a young employee or skilled labour from abroad, please refer to our related content.

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Financial support for recruitment and services for training a new employee

The employment subsidies granted by the TE Office and local government pilots, i.e. the pay subsidy, employment subsidy for those aged 55 or over and the subsidy for arranging working conditions, are based on the needs of both the job seeker and the employer. A job seeker needs help in finding a job and, as an employer, you need to find a skilled person for the job. A new suitable employee may be found in a job seeker whose job seeking is supported. A person who is partially able to work, has been unemployed for a long time, or is young, can also have useful skills and the right attitude to work and learn new things. You should also find out if your municipality offers employment bonuses.

You may also know a person that you would like to hire for your service but who does not have the skills required for the job. You can train employees in your organisation through an apprenticeship, Recruitment Training, vocational labour market training, or pay subsidy. In some situations, you can test a person's suitability for work by means of a work try-out. 

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Working ability coordinator in support of the employer

The task of the working ability coordinator is to create practices and a procedure to promote the situation of job seekers and employees with partial working ability. The coordinator cooperates with employers and other regional networks in a goal-oriented and developmental manner.

The working ability coordinator helps you find solutions to your organization's labour shortage and offers hiring job seekers with partial working ability as an alternative. The coordinator will help you to understand the possibilities of employing job seekers with partial working ability and the appropriate tasks for them.

The working ability coordinator will also guide you in finding the right solutions for your already existing staff with partial working ability.

In addition to this, the working ability coordinator informs employers about various support services related to the employment of people with partial working ability.

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Työkanava forwards service packages to employers produced by employees with partial working ability

Työkanava Ltd is a state-owned company that employs people with impaired capacity to work who are in the most difficult position regarding employment. The company hires employees for an employment relationship and forwards their work input to companies, organizations, public entities, and individuals who need employees.

If you are an employer, Työkanava can subcontract to you service packages produced by its part-time employees. You can also hire labour. The person's remuneration in Työkanava and other working conditions are determined in accordance with labour legislation and the applicable collective agreement. Työkanava is responsible for the job guidance and orientation of its employees at workplaces.

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As an employer, you have a wide range of statutory obligations towards both your employees and the authorities.

Paying your employees is not the only obligation that applies to you as an employer. You must also provide occupational health care, take care of occupational safety and health, take out an insurance for your employees, and draw up an equality plan. To ensure that working is as safe as possible, observe the working environment, working spaces and working methods. Remember to also take care of salary-based and other notifications to be sent to different authorities. If there is a valid collective agreement for your sector, the terms of employment must comply with it.

Occupational health care improves the work ability of your employees

As an employer, the Occupational Health Care Act obliges you to arrange occupational health care for your personnel when there is at least one employee. All your employees have the right to occupational health care regardless of their working hours or the length of their employment relationships. The objective of occupational health care is to promote the healthy and safe working conditions of your employees, to support their ability to work throughout their careers, and to prevent work-related illnesses and accidents.

Occupational safety ensures safe working conditions

The aim of occupational safety is to create a safe, healthy, and productive workplace. As an employer, you are obliged to draw up an occupational safety and health policy. Additionally, it is your responsibility to assess and mitigate potential hazards and failures.

Insurances provide cover for accidents

An insurance will provide you with security if your employee is injured in an accident at work, on the way to or from work, or becomes ill with an occupational disease. You can take out an insurance from your preferred non-life insurance company. Different insurance companies have different practices, so the exact prices of insurances vary. If you wish, you can tender for insurance companies. 

Compulsory insurance policies for employees include earnings-related pension insurance, occupational accident and disease insurance, group life insurance, unemployment insurance premiums, and health insurance premiums. If you wish, you can also take out voluntary insurances.

Impact of disability pensions of a person with partial work ability on the employment pension contributions of large employers

If you are a large employer, your employment pension contributions are determined by comparing your disability risk with the average risk. The calculation compares the amount of disability pensions previously granted to the average amount of employment pension contributions.

At the beginning of an employment relationship, a customer of TE Office or a municipal trial who is finding employment with partial work ability must request a certificate from TE Office or a municipal trial stating that they have been entered in TE Services' customer register as a jobseeker with partial work ability. After this, they must deliver the certificate to you. As an employer, you must keep the certificate.

If a person with partial work ability becomes incapable of work during the first five years of employment, you must submit the certificate of partial work capacity received from the employee to your employment pension insurance company, in which case the employee's disability pension will not affect your employment pension contributions category.

When your employee requests a certificate of their partial work ability at the beginning of the employment relationship and delivers it to you, you will avoid the effects that your employee's possible retirement on disability pension would have on your employment pension contributions. This may, for its part, encourage the hiring of an employee with partial work ability.

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The responsibility for work wellbeing is shared between everyone in the workplace. Having healthy, capable and motivated personnel is also very beneficial for the employer.

Are people feeling well in your work community? The values and operating environment of the organisation and its management affect the wellbeing of the work community and individual employees.

As an employer, it is your responsibility to take care of occupational safety. To ensure employee wellbeing at your workplace, anticipate potential problems, set clear goals, and build trust. Also make sure that management works, and that you treat employees equally. When you manage them fairly, openly, and with encouragement, you improve the wellbeing of your work community, and your employees can succeed better in their work.

What can you do as an employer?

  • Be flexible whenever possible.   
  • Make clear agreements with your employees on objectives and roles.  
  • Provide your employees opportunities for developing their expertise, and encourage them to learn new things.
  • Make sure that your work community follows the instructions and that it is easy and safe for your employees to report faults and deficiencies.
  • Treat each of your employees equally.

You can ask the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for advice and instructions on matters related to health, safety, and terms of employment in the workplace. In addition to this, you must notify occupational health and safety of certain dangerous jobs, confirmed occupational diseases and serious work accidents.

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Maintaining work ability at the workplace

Taking care of your employees' working ability is a prerequisite for ensuring wellbeing in your work community. There are different methods and practices for maintaining working ability. As an employer, you also have an obligation to take assigned measures.

You can have an early support conversation with your employee to find solutions to support their work ability. It is a good idea to continue discussing the situation in the occupational health discussions, which will be carried out together with occupational health care. If you notice reductions in work performance that you cannot fix by your own means at the workplace, you can guide your employee not only to the occupational health discussions but also to an assessment of their ability to work.

Occupational health care works in cooperation with your organisation to promote the health and work ability of your employees at all stages of their careers. Support for work ability is based on the practices agreed upon in your work community. The practices agreed between management, HR management, employees and occupational health care services are recorded in the workplace's work ability support model.

Työkyvyn tuki (ttl.fi, in Finnish)⁠

If your employee's illness or disability prevents them from working, you can make adjustments at your workplace. Adjustments refer to changes at work in which the job description is modified to better correspond to and support your employee's expertise and work ability.

Ways of adapting work for the employer

If your new or current employee has a disability or illness and coping with work tasks requires, for example, the purchase of tools or changes made at the workplace, you can apply for a subsidy for arranging working conditions from the TE Office or the local government employment pilot.

Subsidy for arranging working conditions

As an employer, you are obliged to provide at least preventive occupational health care services for each employee in an employment or public service relationship. You can purchase these services from a public or private service provider or arrange them yourself. It is also recommended that you get occupational health care when you are an entrepreneur, even if it is not compulsory.

Rehabilitation may help your employee when the disability or illness complicates their work or coping at different stages of life.

If you notice that your employee's work ability has deteriorated or the sick leave limit (more than 90 days) is exceeded, it is your responsibility to raise the issue and discuss it with your employee.

Sairauspoissaolokäytännöt työkyvyn tukena (ttl.fi, in Finnish)⁠

From working life to family leave and back

‘From working life to family leave and back – family leave guide for employers’ contains information that you can use as an employer to facilitate the reconciliation of work and family in your work community and to promote the wellbeing of the entire work community.

The guide summarizes the key issues regarding family leave, the law regarding which was renewed on August 1, 2022. It tells you what you should consider before the employee's family leave, during it, and when the employee returns to work from the leave.

If your employee’s illness or disability prevents them from working, you can make adjustments at the workplace. Adjustments refer to changes at work in which your employee’s job description is modified to better correspond to and support their expertise and work ability.

If you notice that your employee’s work ability has deteriorated or the amount of their sickness absence exceeds the sickness absence limit (more than 90 days), it is your responsibility to raise the matter with your employee. Your employee may also raise the matter if they cannot perform their current tasks in the same way as before.

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Early support discussions, occupational health discussions and assessment of work ability

You can have an early support conversation with your employee to find solutions to support their work ability. It is a good idea to continue discussing the situation in the occupational health discussions carried out as part of occupational health care.

The Occupational Health Discussion – Solutions for Work learning programme at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health has sections for employees, supervisors and occupational health care providers which provide support for conducting occupational health discussions. Please also refer to the Occupational Health Discussion Guide of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, which contains instructions for preparing for an occupational health discussion, information on livelihoods, and examples of work adaptation.

In addition to occupational health discussions, you can refer your employee for an assessment of work ability if they experience difficulties in their work performance that you cannot resolve by your own means at the workplace. This involves assessing their ability to perform their current tasks, the development of their functional and work abilities, and their capacity to function in working life. Your occupational health physician is often the best expert for assessing work ability, as they have information about the conditions in the workplace.

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Plan the adjustments

Agree with your employee on the necessary job changes and adjustments. You should also make a written agreement on them. In addition, agree when the situation will be re-evaluated together with the employee and occupational health care provider.

When you agree on working time arrangements with your employee, they gain flexibility for their daily work.

You can agree on flexible working hours with your employees as long as the arrangement complies with the Working Hours Act and your sectoral collective agreement. Your employees are therefore able to decide, within certain limits, on the start and end times of their workday.

Your employees can also work part-time. Possible alternatives include part-time pension, partial disability pension, discretionary part-time work and part-time parental leave as part of family leave.

Remote work is work that your employee does either at home or in another agreed location outside the actual workplace. Remote work can be either full-time or part-time. In the latter case, the employee works part of the week remotely and part of the week as normal at the workplace. Your employee can also work remotely on a one-off basis for a separately agreed period of time.

Adjusting work tasks and work processes to fit an employee’s work ability gives them more capacity to work better at different stages of life.

You can reorganise your employees’ work tasks within the workplace or adjust their working hours and forms of work. You can together make either temporary or permanent changes to the division of labour. Seek to agree on the changes together with the entire work community.

You can also use tools such as work analysis to customise the work tasks.

Job rotation, on the other hand, involves moving your employee to other activities or units at the workplace for a fixed period of time, after which they return to their previous assignment. The aim of job rotation may be to increase an employee’s well-being at work or to boost their motivation.

You can use the Ratko method to format and organise work. The method allows you to reorganise tasks in your work community. You’ll break down the work tasks of everyone involved. From the tasks that fall outside your employees’ core competence and ones they are used to performing alongside their own core tasks, you’ll create a completely new set of tasks. You can formulate this new set of tasks in a way that for example matches the work ability of an employee with partial work ability.

You can use the Ratko method for new hires and existing employees. You can also get expert help in implementing the method.

Sopivat tehtävät (esteetonrekrytointi.fi, in Finnish)⁠

The target working environment is one which values equality and approachability and which feels comfortable for all your employees.

If an employee’s functional ability is impaired due to injury or illness, they can be supported with assistive devices, for example. Introducing the use of such devices is a personalised part of the rehabilitation or treatment process. Primary health care can provide your employee with the most common aids that support mobility, daily activities and sensory functions. A number of actors are involved in arranging the use of these aids, however, and each of these has different responsibilities.

If your employee is unable to cope with certain activities due to injury or illness, they may need personal help. It is the responsibility of the municipality to arrange such assistance, but this process also takes into account the employee’s own opinions, wishes, life situation and particular need for assistance.

If your employee needs interpretation due to hearing loss or a sight or speech disability and they live in Finland and have access to some method of communication, they can use Kela’s interpreter service for the disabled.

You as an employer must develop working conditions and ways of working that promote equality. If you regularly employ at least 30 people, you must have a plan of measures for promoting equality. You must address the promotion measures and their effectiveness with your staff or their representatives.

If a new or current employee of yours has a disability or illness and coping with work tasks requires, for example, purchasing tools or making changes at the workplace, you can apply for a subsidy for arranging working conditions from the TE Office or the local government pilot.

Subsidy for arranging working conditions