FIOH's new survey:
Quality of working life in
Finland has improved
Helsinki (21.05.2013 - Heikki Jokinen)
Working life in Finland has taken a turn for the better in the last
three years according to a general study on Finnish working life,
published a week ago by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health
FIOH. The study is based on telephone interviews with some 3,000 people
and is conducted every three years.
The good news is that
the employment rate of people over 55 years of age is now higher. People
are more willing to continue working longer, later in life. In 2006, 58
per cent of employed people aged at least 45 were considering continuing
work after they reached the lowest possible retirement age of 63, now
the percentage is 74.
The number of
traditional occupational diseases has also been diminishing, except for
asbestosis. On the other hand there are now more allergies than before.
These are often connected with indoor air problems especially in
schools, hospitals and social services units.
The bad news is the
increasing social inequality in health and in the well-being of working
life. The number of people claiming disability pensions is alarmingly
high and still growing. Unemployment has risen by 25 per cent in one
year, which is a major waste of human resources.
Work is less tied to
one place. The closest supervisor for one out of five works somewhere
else which makes it more difficult to get feedback and help at work.
Almost a quarter of those interviewed said they co-operate daily with
people outside their own working place. Work or business contacts
incline to be broader and more extensive now as work takes people in so
many different directions, but relations with colleagues tend to remain
shallow, thus providing less support at the base.
In spite of some
degree of progress problems with working life well-being are still a
cause for concern and continue to incur major expenses for society. The
study estimates the cost at up to 41 billion euro a year which is more
than a fifth of the GDP.