Union calls for salary transparency to tackle Finland's gender pay gap

Women in Finland earn on average about 16 percent less than men.

File photo. Image: AOP

Public and welfare sector trade union JHL has demanded the introduction of wage transparency in the Finnish labour market as a means of tackling the gender pay gap.

The union recently published a study which found that the pay gap between men and women could be reduced if workers knew what their colleagues earned.

In Finland women earned on average 16 percent less than men, according to Statistics Finland. Finland's offical number crunchers found that full-time male employees in Finland earned an average of 3,759 euros per month while women earned an average of 3,154 euros.

This 16 percent gap was also mentioned by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in a statement (siirryt toiseen palveluun) entitled 'Towards Equal Pay', while an OECD ranking (siirryt toiseen palveluun) put the margin even higher, at 17.2 percent.

Government preparing draft bill

Reuters reported (siirryt toiseen palveluun) on Thursday that Finland's government is currently drafting a law that would allow workers to find out what their colleagues earn if they suspect they are being discriminated against.

"What is central to the government's programme is the elimination of unjustified pay gaps. They will now be addressed more rigorously," Minister for Equality Thomas Blomqvist told Reuters, adding that the government expects to introduce the law during this current term of office.

However, according to Reuters, the draft bill has been criticised by both employee unions — which say the bill does not go far enough — and Finland's largest employers' organisation, which argues that the law will create more conflicts in the workplace.