Betting agency Veikkaus furloughs 800 workers

The temporary layoffs will be implemented in stages from the beginning of January.

The coronavirus epidemic has had a significant impact on Veikkaus' business operations. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

State-owned national betting agency Veikkaus has announced that 800 employees will be temporarily laid-off, or furloughed, from the beginning of January after the completion of codetermination talks with staff representatives.

The duration of the furloughs will be a maximum of 90 days and they will be carried out in stages according to the workloads of each unit, team and individuals within the firm’s Points-of-Sale function.

The furloughs will also follow the guidelines of regional hospital districts regarding the spread of the coronavirus within each region.

The agency initiated the codetermination talks due to the effects of coronavirus, which has led to the closure of the majority of Veikkaus’ slot machines and gaming arcades across the country.

The negotiations were aimed at reducing costs via temporary layoffs, and not redundancies.

In a press release, Senior Vice President of Channels and Sales Jari Heino said that the current goal is to restore business operations as soon as possible, by opening Veikkaus' gaming venues and slot machines when the situation in each hospital district allows it.

“In line with this goal, layoffs in the region would end at the same time,” Heino said.