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Nokia caught out on wage discrimination of foreign IT experts in Finland

According to information obtained by Yle, Indian, Chinese and Polish IT employees working in Finland were paid salaries as low as 750 euros a month. The issue was exposed in a State Administrative Agency inspection. Nokia has received a warning from the Agency regarding the matter of wage discrimination.

Nokian pääkonttori Espoo.
Nokia headquarters in Espoo, Finland Image: Jyrki Lyytikkä / Yle

During inspection checks, the State Administrative Agency noticed that within three Nokia subsidiaries, foreign employees who worked in Finland were paid much less than Finnish employees.

The notification from the Agency to Nokia concerned 95 employees from India, China and Poland who worked for Nokia subsidiaries between 2014-2015.

From the documents, it appears that foreign employees with the lowest salaries who worked in product development design earned 50-75 percent less than their Finnish counterparts. 

This means that Indian, Chinese and Polish employees at the lowest end of the pay scale earned about 750 euros a month. 

Nokia admits that it received a notification from the Agency, but would not comment on pay levels and denied having intentionally operated incorrectly.

In an email to Yle, a Nokia representative said "the reason for the notification was Nokia's misunderstanding of what items belong to the compensation packages (for example, housing and daily allowances)."

Nokia also emphasised that it has changed its practices.

The Regional State Administrative Agency intends to increase controls in the sector.

According to Finnish law, foreign workers can not be discriminated against in salaries -- workers of any nationality working in Finland should earn the same amount as Finns doing the same work.

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