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Managing change

Ministry of Finance decision and instruction on transition security in central government (VM/25890/2020)

In its final report on 30 September 2019, the working group on transition security set up by the Ministry of Finance proposed that the public-post transfer arrangement set out in a government resolution and described in implementation guidelines from the Ministry of Finance should be abandoned in its current form, and that the guidance on transition security in central government should be updated and brought together in a Ministry of Finance decision on transition security. 

The public-post transfer arrangement has been discontinued (Ministry of Finance note, 29 January 2020, VN/1185/2020-VM-1, in Finnish) and, in line with the working group’s proposals, a Ministry of Finance decision and instruction on transition security in central government (VN/25890/2020) entered into force on 1 January 2021. Upon coming into force, the decision and instruction replaced the Ministry of Finance’s implementation guidelines concerning the government resolution of 26 January 2012 on the position of state employees in situations of organisational change and also the Ministry of Finance decision and recommendation on transition security. 

The central principles of transition security remain largely unchanged. The Ministry of Finance decision and instruction on transition security in central government supplements the arrangement regarding internal relocation in a ministry, government agency or public body under the Act on Public Officials in Central Government. In the case of job losses occurring for financial or production-related reasons, the aim is to limit these to as few people as possible. The Act on Public Officials in Central Government includes provisions on the position of public officials in regard to changes occurring internally in central government and in transfers of business (sections 5a–5f of the Act on Public Officials in Central Government). 

These transitions call for robust management and effective personnel planning in the organisation affected. The responsibility for implementing such changes lies with the organisation itself and the ministry that oversees it. Using the means available under the Ministry of Finance decision, the employer has a responsibility to support the relocation of any person left without work to new duties, either within central government or in the service of another employer.

The decision’s measures, procedures and services concerning changes in staffing needs will support and guide the organisation affected, helping it manage change and arrange transition security for personnel. In addition, the decision includes other support measures available for situations of organisational change. The primary aim of these measures is to secure continuity of the employment relationships of those affected by organisational changes. A secondary aim is to support the personnel in situations where, in spite of everything, a central government organisation has to terminate the employment of staff for financial or production-related reasons.

The practices under this transition security decision ordinarily apply both to those who are in public-service employment relationships and those in contractual employment relationships. The transfer obligation applicable to personnel of the Finnish Defence Forces and the Border Guard is governed by separate legal provisions. The content of the transition security decision will also be taken into account. 

As part of the changes to transition security, the purpose of the 2021 Budget item 28.60.02 (‘Joint personnel costs in central government’) has been amended such that costs to a ministry, agency or body arising from changes made can be reimbursed from the item’s centralised appropriations. The organisation can be reimbursed for spending related to an individual change. This may include an employee’s resignation compensation; re-employment coaching or training; reimbursement of removal costs; leasing costs for shared central government premises over a maximum of two years; and costs of working in another organisation under section 20 of the Act on Public Officials in Central Government in a situation arising for financial or production-related reasons. The organisation affected first pays these costs from its operating expenditure and then applies to the Ministry of Finance for reimbursement using a single application form within two months of the costs arising, unless there are special grounds for doing otherwise.

The aim is that this will bring consistency to the way in which organisational changes are managed in central government and at the same time also standardise the payment of compensatory sums and the treatment of personnel members. More detailed instructions on the application process are given in a Ministry of Finance note (VN/25890/2020-VM-3).
 

More information

Ministry of Finance decision and instruction on transition security in central government, 18 December 2020 (in Finnish)
Transition security application form (in Finnish) 
Instructions for completing the transition security application form (in Finnish)
Project page of working group on transition security (in Finnish)

Contact information

Ministerial adviser
Kirsi Kuuttiniemi
Tel. +358 2955 30207
[email protected] 

Senior Ministerial Adviser, Legislative Affairs
Miska Lautiainen
Tel. +358 2955 30212
[email protected] 

Senior Ministerial Adviser
Risto Lerssi
tel. +358 2955 30022
[email protected]