Growing Zero Hours Contracts for Summer Jobs

Sharp rise in zero hours contracts for summer workers in Finland, where tens of thousands of mainly young people rely on summer work to make money between university terms.

Credit: Patrick Lindström / SAK

The number of so-called zero hours contracts for summer workers in Finland has increased noticeably this summer.

That’s according to the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK; AKAVA, the federation representing unions for people with higher education; and STTK the Finnish Confederation of Professionals.

This summer, 20% of people questioned said they had a temporary job with a zero hours agreement.

That’s up from less than 10% last summer.

“The rise in the number of zero hours contracts is alarming” says Sari-Anne Salminen from the Summer Job Helpline which is run by SAK, AKAVA and STTK and offers practical advice for people with seasonal work issues.

“These contracts cause unreasonable harm to a young person who is prepared to work through the summer and naturally expects to receive a salary from that time” she adds.

The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions says the position of people working on zero hours contracts must improve during the next round of collective bargaining talks with the government. SAK also wants to limit the use of such contracts in the future.