Inclusion in working life

Everyone has the right to work.  Work is an essential part of human identity, welfare and inclusion in society.

Promoting inclusion in working life means promoting an individual’s employability, rehabilitation for the labour market and their participation as well as their ability to influence the functioning of the labour market.

The general objective is to promote and support employment, a person’s return to work and their continued employment.

Challenges related to inclusion in working life involve people with partial work ability, persons with disabilities, immigrants and young people at risk of social exclusion as well as people with long-term unemployment.

Inclusive employment policy increases the employment rate

The concept of inclusion in working life is part of an inclusive labour market whose overall goal is to increase the employment rate. This means creating jobs also for groups currently outside the labour market. This is pursued through inclusive employment policy.

An inclusive labour market opens up the questions of unemployment and working life practices as common problems for everyone involved in the labour market. Solving the problems of the labour market requires joint responsibility between the central government, employers and employees.

The functioning of the labour market can be influenced by developing the service system, regulation of the labour market and measures that increase the demand for labour. 

Introducing employment conditions or social criteria in public procurement is one potential way to increase the demand for the labour force. This enables the creation of new job opportunities that benefit the employee, the hiring employer and the public actor, such as a municipality, wellbeing services county, city or state.

Increasing individuals’ capabilities to find employment

Inclusion in working life can be promoted by strengthening individuals’ capabilities to find employment. The capabilities can be increased through means such as rehabilitative work activities. Municipalities organise rehabilitative work activities for people with long-term unemployment.

In THL’s activities, this has meant the development of services and the service system as part of broader development programmes (Work Ability Programme, Sustainable Growth Programme) and several individual projects, for example.

Social rehabilitation supports inclusion in working life

The path to the labour market may also require rehabilitative elements. In this case, inclusion in working life refers to maintaining functional capacity, preventing social exclusion and participating in various services or measures.

Social rehabilitation supports capabilities to find employment, for example, by means of individual or group training. Social rehabilitation emphasises social functional capacity and support for inclusion.

Social rehabilitation is defined in the Social Welfare Act:
(FInlex: Section 17 of the Social Welfare Act 1301/2014) (in Finnish)