26 September 2023

FINLAND: Former aides in compensation row

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The Office of Finland’s Prime Minister is to look into media reports that former aides who received compensation after stating they were resigning to set up their own business did not carry out their plans.

Journalists reported that three special aides and two State Secretaries had received compensation for the waiting period on grounds that they planned to set up their own company after leaving the Public Service — but never followed through with the plan.

The waiting periods are imposed to delay the transition of employees from the Public Service to the private sector to ensure confidential information they possess is less current. During this time they are still paid by the Government.

The duration of the period is determined by an assessment of the information the employee had access to when they were still part of the Government.

State Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Timo Lankinen said the people mentioned in the report had six-month waiting periods imposed.

“We’re asking them to present a report on what positions they possibly took up or what activities they started during the six-month waiting period that applies to the waiting period agreements,” Mr Lankinen (pictured) said.

Mr Lankinen said not setting up a company did not constitute a contract violation but that former aides must always report to the Government if they had taken up a new job during the waiting period.

A contract violation could result in a fine that is up to two times as high as the waiting-period compensation, which ranged from €20,000 t0 €50,000 ($A32,300-$80,800) in the five cases highlighted.

Helsinki, 5 May 2023

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