Work has always been changing, but technological development has accelerated change. Work is no longer tied to time and place, and new technology means that people have fewer routine tasks. The use of technology is also increasing in jobs that have not previously been regarded as technical fields. In addition to technological development, working life is being affected by population ageing, growing inequality, climate change and urbanisation, among other factors.
Old practices are being challenged by new ways of working. Instead of traditional salaried work, people are increasingly working as sole proprietors, freelancers or grant recipients. With the forms of work diversifying, it is increasingly important to take sole proprietors into account in the development of labour and social security legislation.
Shorter working time
Over the past few decades, working time has decreased significantly in Finland and other developed industrial countries. This has largely taken place through an increase in productivity and a rise in living standards. The appreciation of free time has increased.
Shorter working time is being discussed in various industrial countries, and STTK is willing to contribute to this discussion in Finland. The considerations include the impact of shorter working time on pay, taxation, pensions and social security. This discussion is also relevant in the sense that new forms of working life have become more common in Finland, meaning that many people are no longer working under a full-time employment relationship.
The platform economy is an online business model in which a company provides a platform for private individuals or companies to sell products or services. The platform economy has made it possible to improve the efficiency of many services. At the same time, however, it has rendered employees in a more uncertain position in working life. This has taken place through zero-hour contracts, for example.
Ways of working
Because of the changes in working life, an increasing number of people are likely to work as sole proprietors or freelancers alongside their traditional salaried jobs. At the same time, part-time work and fixed-term employment relationships are becoming more common. Remote work has also become an integral part of many Finns’ work.
For many employees, the different ways of working offer a good opportunity to work alongside their studies, for example, or in a way that otherwise fits their life situation. However, we must ensure that these developments are not taking place against people’s will. People must be able to plan their lives relying on employment and a secure livelihood.
Zero-hour contracts and contracts with variable working hours do not provide sufficient security for employees. The employment security provided by the Employment Contracts Act must therefore be improved, and predictable working hours must be ensured by means of legislation. Part-time employees must be provided with better opportunities to accept other work.
With the forms of work diversifying, it is also increasingly important to take all types of employees into account in the development of labour and social security legislation.