Disability in Finland: State-owned business to people with disabilities

The Finnish government is set to establish a Work Ability Programme that aims to focus on disability groups and help them find employment to increase the employment rate in Finland to 75 percent by 2025.

As part of this initiative, the Finnish government has established the state-owned special-purpose company, Work Channel (Työkanava Oy), to employ people with disabilities or vulnerable groups.

It was noted that Work Channel would directly hire employees at an extreme disadvantage, but it was also stressed that this must be seen as a last resort when other attempts to seek employment have been unsuccessful.

Finnish Minister of Labour Tuula Haatainen, explains, “The right and opportunity to work according to one’s abilities is important both for a person with a reduced work capacity and for the Finnish society as a whole. In the future, Työkanava Oy will be able to employ the most disadvantaged employees of this group.

Their employment opportunities have not been significantly increased in the past through employment measures and services. The launch of the company’s operations is also one indication that Finland is implementing its international obligations in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”