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Number of Seasonal Workers Holds Steady

The Ministry of Labour expects to see around ten thousand foreign seasonal workers in Finland this summer. The national Centre for Pensions is pressing employers to remind seasonal workers that they too are entitled to Finnish pension benefits.

The number of summer seasonal workers seems to have levelled off at around 10 thousand. In addition to workers in the fields, a couple of thousand are engaged in the building trade.

Around half of all seasonal workers here are Russian. The largest group from another EU country are the Estonians, and about 500 Poles are expected.

Even though restrictions on entering the job market here were completely lifted for citizens of other EU countries at the start of May, and for seasonal workers two years ago, their numbers are not expected to grow by much.

In contrast, there will be a sharp rise in workers from Thailand. One food company, Riitan Herkku Oy, that uses berries in its production last year, recruited 92 pickers from Thailand. It was so pleased with their work that this year it plans to recruit up to 450.

The national Centre for Pensions hopes that employers will inform seasonal workers of their rights. It is certain that some will simply forget later on, so employers are being asked to urge workers to save receipts of all their earnings so workers can apply for benefits when the time comes to retire.

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