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Finland to seek EU money to help ex-Microsoft workers

The employment ministry said on Tuesday it will apply to the EU for funding to help employees laid off by Microsoft find another job or set up their own businesses.

Microsoftin työntekijöitä Metro-Areenalla Espoossa keskiviikkona.
Microsoft workers assembled in Espoo last week to hear news of the firm's plans to shed 1,350 jobs in Finland. Image: Petteri Paalasmaa / AOP

Finland’s government has announced it will apply to the EU for money to support Microsoft employees who are laid off in the firm’s latest round of job cuts.

Justice and Employment Minister Jari Lindström announced that an application will be lodged this autumn with the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), an EU body which provides grants in instances where over 500 people are made redundant by a single company as a result of globalisation.

Last week Microsoft announced it is to shut down its product development operations in Finland, with the loss of 1,350 jobs. The move is the latest in a string of lay-offs by the company, which bought struggling former mobile giant Nokia's handset business in 2014.

“Services for laid-off staff are already being set up immediately, in coordination with the firm’s own support operations and public operations,” Lindström said.

The EU is expected to reach a decision on the application within six months of submission.

Finland currently has other requests for money pending with the EGF, relating to previous Microsoft layoffs.

The EGF can fund up to 60 percent of projects which help axed workers find another job or set up their own businesses.

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