Yle in English asks: Have you come up against unfair hiring practices in Finland?

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Thanks to Dr. Gareth Rice’s courageous example that exposed unfair hiring practices at the university, some long-overdue attention is now being paid to a much wider problem that migrants face in this country. YLE in English asks its readers to share their views on the issue. 

On Wednesday at 7:12pm, the Yle in English story had 130 comments!

It’s ironic that on Thursday the European Commission announced that it will take Finland to the European Court of Justice for not having a racial equality body that looks into racial discrimination at the workplace.

Näyttökuva 2014-7-16 kello 19.22.59
Read full story here.


One of the gripes that the European Commission has with Finland was that the Ombudsman for Equality doesn’t have any say concerning ethnic discrimination cases at work.

The interesting question to ask is why so little has been done in this country up to now to defend migrants against unfair hiring practices?

One of the comments by Thao on the YLE in English story offers a solution:

My experience: applied 200 times in Finland. Never got called to interviews.

Applied once to Germany for fun. Got the job.

Migrant unemployment in Finland is 2-3 times higher than the national average, which stood at 10.7% in May.

Every migrant, expat and minority in Finland has anecdotes to share about how difficult or easy it is to get work in this country.

In the early 1980s, shortly after I moved to Finland, I was given the following advice by Tauri Aaltio, the late head of Finland Society, an expat association. “You’ll never get a job in academia in Finland,” he said.”But you speak languages, you’re well-mannered, you’d find work in the restaurant and hotel business.”

I never followed Aaltio’s advice but forged instead my own career path the best way I saw fit. Career advancement for me meant short stints abroad to get work experience.

Even if I have been hired as a staffer abroad, I never have had that privilege in Finland.

It’s a good matter that we’re debating discrimination issues in hiring.

Let’s hope that something positive turns out from this very important humble step in the right direction.