Migrant women arriving in Finland for family reunification are slower to find work than other new arrivals – with the opposite being true for men.
That’s the findings of a new study by THL, Kela and several universities, which looked at the employment differences between quota refugees, asylum seekers and family reunification arrivals.
“The employment of men who have arrived through family reunification can be facilitated by the fact that family members who have arrived earlier may have already acquired knowledge relevant to employment and established social networks” says THL’s Jussi Tervola.
One main reason that women who come to Finland for family reunification don’t enter the workplace so easily is connected to their home lives: the research finds they’re more likely than other groups to take family leave right from the beginning of their stay in the country, which delays their employment.
“The results raise the question of whether integration measures could also be targeted more at mothers caring for children at home” says Tervola, noting that current integration plans focus on employment measures to promote employment, rather than at more broad integration efforts.
“Some municipalities already provide language training for recipients of home care support, for example, and provide childcare for the duration of the course” he adds, highlighting one possible course of action to help fix the issue.
The new study tracked the work and family leave situation of around 15,000 people, all of them refugees, who moved to Finland between 2001 and 2014.
The people came mostly from Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iran.