The purpose of the Act on Co-operation (1333/2021) is to improve employees’ ability to exert in-fluence and to access information. The aim of the legislative reform is to improve the opportuni-ties of a work community to define for themselves which issues should be addressed to develop the company or the organisation and what kinds of procedures should be applied.
The effectiveness of co-operation requires continuous interaction and the sufficient and timely flow of information between all parties. The improvement of opportunities to exert influence is sought through continuous dialogue, employee representation in company administration, and change negotiations.
In the Act, co-operation is divided into two parts:
- continuous dialogue and
- change negotiations.
The purpose of continuous dialogue is to improve employees’ actual opportunities to exert influ-ence. Dialogue must be carried out regularly on topics such as the company’s or the organisation’s development prospects and financial situation, personnel structure, competence needs and com-petence development.
Essential personnel impacts within the scope of the employer’s power of management as well as reductions in the use of the personnel require change negotiations.
Compliance with the Act is supervised by the Co-operation Ombudsman. Supervision is also partic-ipated in by those employer and employee associations that have signed the national collective agreement, the provisions of which must be observed, according to the Collective Agreements Act (436/1946), in the company’s or the organisation’s employment relationships. However, these associations do not have the powers of authorities and, in practice, the supervision task has been carried out by the Co-operation Ombudsman alone.