Government decided on safe entry of seasonal workers to Finland – instructions to be sent to farms
On 4 February 2021, the Finnish Government decided on the instructions to be issued regarding the entry of seasonal workers to the country in such a way that our health security is protected.
According to the guidelines of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, citizens of the EU countries or countries outside the EU coming to work in critical primary production tasks in Finland must be tested for coronavirus when entering the country and for the second time after having been in Finland for 72 hours. Both test results must be negative. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare considers that the two-test model will effectively prevent coronavirus infections from spreading across the borders in connection with travel.
Specific instructions have been issued on the quarantine rules for seasonal workers, and guidance will be provided to the employers on how the quarantine is to be supervised. These instructions will be sent to farms and published on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry at https://mmm.fi. Producer organisations have also created an own-check system for the quarantine rules that has been linked to the ‘Work from Finland’ service Töitäsuomesta.fi.
The employer must notify the municipal health authority of the arrival of foreign workers. The conditions for the entry of foreign workers include a health security plan drawn up by the employer together with the local infectious disease authority. More detailed instructions on the notification and health security plan will be sent to the employers.
“Entry to the country in such a way that health security is protected is the first priority. This is why our key focus is on the guidance and instructions that will be needed. The instructions must be practical and easy to follow. At the same time we must make sure that the permit procedures related to the entry of seasonal workers run smoothly and we have adequate resources for these. Incentives will also be prepared to attract domestic labour,” Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä says.
Entry of foreign workers to Finland and the related decisions
When entering the country, a seasonal worker must present a form filled in by the employer concerning employment on a farm or in an enterprise. For workers coming from Ukraine, the Ukrainian Government requires an employment contract of at least three months.
In terms of the responsibilities, the decision-making procedure concerning the entry to the country is clear: the final decision is always made by the border control authority. The permit applications of seasonal workers are processed at the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri).
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry strongly recommends the use of designated charter fights for bringing seasonal workers to Finland.
Support is also provided for finding workforce from Finland and from other EU/EEA countries
Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE Offices) help employers in finding seasonal workers from Finland (www.te-palvelut.fi). Among the main target groups are young job seekers. Finding seasonal workers from other EU/ETA countries is supported by organising virtual Europe-wide recruitment events (www.europeanjobdays.eu) and national www.te-live.fi events. The ‘Work from Finland’ service (Töitä Suomesta.fi) was created to ease the shortage of seasonal workers in the rural areas.
Instructions about seasonal production work
- Safe entry of seasonal primary production workers to Finland – instructions for employers
- Quarantine guidelines for seasonal primary production workers
- Form: Employer’s or client’s justification for the necessity of an employee entering the country
- Безопасный въезд в страну сезонной рабочей силы первичного сектора экономики — инструкция для работодателей
- Министерство сельского и лесного хозяйства; COVID-19; Инструкция по карантинному режиму сезонных работников первичного сектора экономик
Inquiries at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Kirsi Heinonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 162 059, firstname.lastname(at)mmm.fi
Satu Haapaniemi, Special Adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 50 400 5193, firstname.lastname(at)mmm.fi