PAM's employment counseling receives more than 50,000 contacts a year - only a fraction end up in court
Despite corona, the number of contacts was on a normal level last year. The majority of employment disputes are investigated at workplaces or at PAM regional offices.
In 2020, PAM's employment counseling received a total of about 50,000 contacts. Of these, 80 per cent were telephone calls, 15 per cent were written contacts and 5 per cent were visits to PAM's offices across Finland.
The number of employment counseling contacts was normal on an annual basis, although in March the number of contacts multiplied due to the corona. Under normal circumstances, there are about 2,500 to 3,000 calls to employment counseling on a monthly basis, but in March last year there were more than 7,700 calls. The number of contacts was still high in June, but returned to normal in August.
The aim is always to settle a dispute by negotiating in the workplace first. In problem situations, it is important to always contact the shop steward first. If an employment matter brought to PAM's attention is not resolved through counseling or discussion in the workplace, it may be recorded as a disagreement in the PAM Disagreement Register. A total of 724 such disagreements were recorded last year. That is slightly less than in 2019, when a total of 877 cases were registered. Nearly half of last year’s disagreements, 385 cases, were settled at PAM’s regional offices.
Most cases of disagreement in the hospitality sector
Last year, a total of 823 disagreements were closed. Examined by sector, the cases were distributed as follows: hospitality 35%, commercial sector 27%, facility services sector 19%, private security 2%, other sectors 7% and no collective agreement 10%.
Every year, only a few disagreements end up in court. Last year, PAM granted legal aid in 79 cases where a lawyer took over the case. The same number of legal aid decisions were made last year as in previous years. However, fewer cases were heard in court when sessions were canceled due to the pandemic. Processing times were further extended in various courts.