YIT strengthens its sustainability practices – posted workers from non-EU/EEA countries will be required to have the right of residence and employment issued by the Finnish authorities

YIT Corporation Press release September 9, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.

YIT strengthens its sustainability practices
YIT strengthens its sustainability practices

YIT’s new policy, which exceeds the Finnish legislative requirements, increases the transparency in terms of employment and minimises the risks associated with various grey economy phenomena.

YIT aims to ensure fair working conditions for all workers by specifying its practices concerning posted workers who are not from EU/EEA countries or Switzerland. Starting from 1 October  2021, new contract and subcontract agreements will require such posted workers to have a residence permit granting the right to work issued by the Finnish authorities. The previous policy, which was in line with the legal requirements, allowed workers posted from non-EU/EEA countries to work in Finland with a work permit issued by the EU country of origin.

The specification of the right to work applies to posted workers from non-EU/EEA countries. Posted workers are workers assigned by a foreign company to work in Finland. Official statistics and research data indicate that non-EU/EEA posted workers are more vulnerable to poorer terms of employment, labour exploitation and other grey economy phenomena. This is also supported by YIT’s own observations. 

The new policy represents a strong addition to YIT’s long sustainability work to ensure that all workers are treated equally and fairly regardless of their home country or other background. For example, YIT’s Whistleblower channel, which is available in 10 languages, has enabled workers to report non-conformities anonymously for over a decade now.

From words to action in weeding out grey economy

Foreign workers posted from outside the EU, or the EEA are at especially high risk of becoming victims of labour exploitation. In such cases, the person’s lack of knowledge of the rules of Finnish working life or their concern about their work permit and residence permit is often taken advantage of. The risk of exploitation is also increased by the language barrier.

“Companies must make a stronger commitment to combat the grey economy and human rights violations by developing concrete solutions. We need to have the courage to change the rules,” says Juhana Häkkänen, Vice President, Supply Chain Management at YIT.

YIT invites all construction industry operators to work together to develop and adopt business practices that help ensure fair treatment for all workers.

“As the largest Finnish and a significant North European construction company, we feel an obligation to steer industry practices in a new direction. Our policy regarding posted workers represents a strong addition to our existing sustainability efforts. However, there is still more room for improvement in our industry, and progress can only be achieved if all of the parties are committed to it,” Häkkänen adds.

Going forward, non-EU/EEA posted workers can work at YIT in Finland without a residence permit for an employed person issued by the Finnish authorities, or other right to work, only in strictly specified exceptional cases. These include, for example, short-term installation work requiring special expertise or an alien’s passport issued by an EU country.

The policy applies specifically to posted workers. Non-EU/EEA citizens are still welcome to work at YIT’s construction sites with an employed person’s residence permit issued by the Finnish authorities or other right to work granted by the Finnish authorities (including asylum seekers and persons with a permanent Finnish residence permit).

For further information, please contact:
Juhana Häkkänen, Vice President, Supply Chain Management, YIT Corporation, tel. +358 (0)40 848 3498, juhana.hakkanen@yit.fi

 Pii Raulo, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, YIT Corporation, tel. +358 (0)40 572 3568, pii.raulo@yit.fi
Hanna Malmivaara, Senior Vice President, Group Communications, YIT Corporation, tel. +358 (0)40 561 6568, hanna.malmivaara@yit.fi

YIT is the largest Finnish and a significant North European urban developer and construction company. Our goal is to create more sustainable, functional and attractive cities and living environments. We develop and build apartments, business premises and entire areas. We also specialise in demanding infrastructure construction. We own properties together with our partners, which supports the implementation of our significant development projects. We also provide our customers with services that increase the value of properties. We employ approximately 7,400 professionals in ten countries: Finland, Russia, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. Our revenue in 2020 was approximately EUR 3.1 billion. YIT Corporation’s share is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Oy. www.yitgroup.com