Finland scraps equal pay legislation amid coalition differences

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FILE PHOTO: Finland's flag flutters in Helsinki

HELSINKI -Finland has cancelled plans to overhaul equality legislation aimed at narrowing the pay gap between men and women, the government said in a statement on Monday, citing unbridgeable gaps between parties in the ruling coalition.

“The work to prevent gender-based pay discrimination and advancing pay equality will continue in other government actions supporting equal pay,” Equality Minister Thomas Blomqvist said in the statement.

The government said the views of the five parties in the centre-left coalition had been too far apart and they had not reached an agreement over how to use legislation to strengthen pay transparency, as they vowed to do in a programme published after Prime Minister Sanna Marin took the reins in late 2019.

Last November Blomqvist told Reuters Finland would take a more rigorous approach to the “elimination of unjustified pay gaps”.

With a 16% average pay gap, Finland placed 38th in an OECD pay equality ranking for 2021, well behind its Nordic peers.

(Reporting by Essi Lehto; Editing by Jan Harvey and David Holmes)