Työkanava Ltd employs people with partial work ability and offers solutions to labour shortages


Työkanava Ltd, which recruits people with partial work ability, became fully operational at the turn of the year. In order to be employed by the company, the jobseeker must meet certain criteria. Työkanava Ltd helps operators in need of employees tailor the working conditions to suit an employee with partial work ability. Support is available even after the employee has started working.


The activities of Työkanava Ltd, which employs people with partial work ability, have been launched in stages since autumn 2022. Työkanava Ltd is a state-owned special assignment company that employs people with partial work ability and sells their work input to customers, such as companies, organisations, public bodies and private individuals. Työkanava Ltd also acts as an employment agent for temporary agency work.

People were aware of the introduction of Työkanava Ltd to the market fairly extensively in advance, as the concept has been under development for several years. For example, different actors’ views on the employment of people with partial work ability have previously been examined. At the turn of the year, the company began to employ people with partial work ability and collaborate with actors in need of employees.

– I particularly appreciate the fact that we have been able to visit several different actors, that is, our potential customers, to describe our services, says Tuovi Maasio, Account Manager at Työkanava Ltd (in the photo).

– Based on the feedback, Työkanava is regarded as a good thing and our activities are considered necessary. In part, we do things that have already been done before, but we do them with a new twist. We hope that an increasing number of people will know that we are not just a short-term project, but an ordinary employer with long-term goals, adds Kim Lautamo, who serves as the Service Manager for the employees (in the picture).

Työkanava concludes an employment contract with its employees, applying the same employment contract laws as other workplaces. The employees are paid in accordance with the collective agreement. An operator in need of an employee buys a service from Työkanava Ltd and the task is carried out by an employee of Työkanava.

Employment criteria emphasise personal motivation

The criteria for employment in Työkanava are being able to work part-time and being a TE Services customer. TE authorities make an overall assessment of the job seeker's situation. If it seems that the job seeker's employment opportunities cannot be significantly increased with other measures and employment with another employer is unlikely, employment in Työkanava may be a suitable option.

– The jobseeker should be motivated to work in Työkanava, as our activities are not mandatory for anyone, and we are not a service in which the employment authorities oblige jobseekers to participate. However, we hope that TE services specialists will remember to mention this possibility to their customers with partial work ability, Kim Lautamo points out.

In order for a person to be employed by Työkanava, a TE services specialist will assess whether the criteria are met. If the criteria are met, a written decision on employment at Työkanava will be made. After this, the jobseeker will be transferred to the Ostrobothnia TE Office, which manages the service on the TE Office’s side, from where they will eventually be recruited by Työkanava.

– Persons employed by Työkanava have access to both permanent and fixed-term employment relationships. At the moment, we are offering employment relationships that last at least six months. Our goal is to improve the person’s work-related skills during the employment relationship so that they can enter the open labour market, Tuovi Maasio says.

At the moment, Työkanava is targeting its services especially at sectors that encounter challenges in matching. In these fields, there is a mismatch between work and suitable professionals. However, Maasio and Lautamo point out that Työkanava is ready to provide employment in other sectors, too. In other words, all operators in need of employees should contact Työkanava.

The work is tailored to suit the employee

If an operator in need of employees is interested in employing a person with partial work ability through Työkanava, the cooperation will begin by mapping the work tasks and working conditions. This makes it possible to find out what kind of person best manages the tasks. If the operator is uncertain whether it has tasks suitable for employees with partial work ability, Työkanava Ltd can be visit the site to investigate the matter.

– We will identify the existing tasks and, if necessary, divide them to create new sets of duties that suit people with partial work ability. For example, the duties of a salesperson now involve several different tasks from working at the cash register to unloading deliveries. If working at the cash register is too challenging for the employee, it can be omitted from the job description and replaced with something else, Kim Lautamo explains.

– We start with easy measures that do not cause financial costs. For example, if the work task has been scaled for one person and four hours have been reserved for doing it, Työkanava may be able to complete the task with several people in eight hours. In other words, we would rather divide the existing tasks than start changing the working conditions altogether, Maasio says.

In addition, it is possible to tailor the length of the working day or week to suit the employee’s work ability.

– A person with partial work ability often seeks work with a possibility of shorter working hours because they may have been out of work for a long time. For this reason, they are not fully aware of how much work they can take on. In the tailoring of working hours, efforts are always made to reach a compromise that satisfies the job provider and the employee with partial work ability, Lautamo points out.

It should also be noted that persons with partial work ability often already have the right to various services that facilitate their work activities, which means that it is not the responsibility of the job provider to organise them. For example, people using sign language have a right to use sign language interpreters. If an employee with partial work ability is not aware of the services they are entitled to, Työkanava will help them identify such services. In addition, Työkanava may be involved in employee induction and provide help in, for example, illustrating the induction material and developing other alternative induction methods. If necessary, dialogue and guidance between Työkanava and the customer who purchased the services will continue after the person with partial work ability has started working.

In spite of measures that facilitate working, it may sometimes become impossible for an employee with partial work ability to perform their tasks. In such situations, the person will return to the TE Services as a jobseeker. The termination of employment will not affect the person’s unemployment security, i.e. there is no risk of being issued a so-called waiting period.

More information about Työkanava can be found on the company’s website. The current website is temporary and a more comprehensive website will be published later in spring 2023. 

Työkanava (tyokanava.fi, in Finnish)

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