Working group: Employees should have right to know colleagues' salaries, if they suspect discrimination

The proposal could help employees who suspect pay discrimination.

The proposal has been criticised by both employers' and employees' groups, but for different reasons. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

A working group looking to close Finland's gender pay gap has proposed changes to the law to allow employees who suspect discrimination to find out how much their colleagues get paid.

They would be required to keep the information confidential, once they had received it.

Employee representatives would also get access to pay data under the proposals, which would require employers to explain their pay structure to employees once a year.

The proposal is a result of the government's goal to improve gender equality as written in the government programme, and was presented to the Minister for Nordic Co-operation and Equality Thomas Blomqvist (SPP) on Monday.

The proposal was criticised by the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) as 'neither one thing nor the other', and by labour movement representatives as not going far enough to advance pay transparency.

Unions were unhappy that the proposals would not apply to employers with fewer than 30 employees. A business lobby group, meanwhile, expressed concerns about workers' privacy.