One out of six wage and
salary earners work in temporary jobs
Helsinki (23.11.2012 - Juhani Artto) The public sector uses relatively more
fixed-term employment relations than the private sector but the pay gap
between permanent and temporary employees is wider in the private sector.
This situation has remained unchanged for many years. In 2011, nearly 16 per
cent of all wage and salary earners had a temporary job.
Almost 23 per cent of public sector employees were in fixed-term employment
relations. At central government level the proportion was slightly higher
than at local government level. In the private sector 12 per cent of the
employees held temporary jobs. Less than 13 per cent of males worked as
temporary employees, whereas 18.5 per cent of females had fixed-term
The reasons as to why people find themselves in temporary work
are roughly similar for both sexes. Almost two thirds of fixed-term
employees would like to have a permanent job but have not been able to find
one. Slightly over a quarter of fixed-term employees are content to work as
temporary employees. About one in ten of the
fixed-term employees is on a trial period or in practical training related
to his or her studies.
In 2011, private sector permanent employees earned EUR 19.11 per
hour on average, whereas fixed-term employees were paid an average of EUR
15.69 per hour. The gap stood at 18 per cent. For central government the gap
was 9 per cent and for local government 8 per cent.
When private and public sectors are combined, the permanent versus
fixed-term employees pay gap was 10 per cent among women and 17 per cent
Trade unions regard the large number of people in fixed-term jobs as
unwarranted and unacceptable and fight continuously to have fixed-term jobs
transformed into permanent ones. Existing legislation supports this struggle
as an employer can only legally use temporary labour if there are acceptable
reasons for doing so. Employers may offer fixed-term employment, for
example, in case of maternity leave or when looking for employees for a
project that lasts for a certain period only.