Ukrainian Refugees in Finland Struggle with Seasonal Work and Benefits

news 07-Jul-2023 World News

Ukrainian Refugees in Finland Struggle with Seasonal Work and Benefits

Finnish Farmers Speak Candidly about Ukrainian Refugees

Yle: Ukrainian Refugees Stop Berry Picking in Finland to Avoid Losing Benefits

An increasing number of Ukrainian refugees are refusing to engage in seasonal berry-picking work in Finland due to fears of losing social benefits, according to Finnish farmers interviewed by Yle, a Finnish broadcasting company.

"While Ukrainians may have worked in Finland in previous years, some are now reluctant to engage in seasonal work because it may affect their financial benefits," quotes the publication, citing Finnish farmers.

Mia Laiho, a member of parliament, stated that working in the country should be more financially advantageous than simply relying on benefits and called for swift action from the government to address the issue.

Ukrainians who reside in Finland for a year are eligible for housing allowances and child benefits. However, as reported, the child benefits are not contingent on participation in paid seasonal work.

According to the Finnish Immigration Service, after the start of the conflict in Ukraine, over 58,000 Ukrainians have applied for temporary asylum in Finland.

The concerns expressed by Finnish farmers shed light on the challenges faced by Ukrainian refugees and the complex dynamics surrounding their integration into the Finnish labor market. The fear of losing social benefits may discourage some individuals from seeking seasonal employment opportunities.

The decision to prioritize financial benefits over seasonal work can be attributed to several factors. For many Ukrainian refugees, financial stability and support are crucial during their resettlement process. The uncertain nature of seasonal work, coupled with the potential loss of benefits, presents a dilemma for individuals seeking stability and long-term prospects.

Mia Laiho's call for government action highlights the need for comprehensive policies that incentivize labor force participation among refugees and ensure a balance between financial support and employment opportunities. Addressing this issue requires a nuanced approach that considers the unique circumstances and challenges faced by Ukrainian refugees.

The situation in Ukraine has led to a significant number of individuals seeking asylum in various countries, including Finland. The Finnish government, in collaboration with relevant authorities, needs to assess and address the concerns of Ukrainian refugees, including their integration into the labor market and the potential impact on social benefits.

Supporting refugees in their journey towards self-sufficiency and integration requires a multifaceted approach. This includes providing appropriate language and skills training, facilitating access to job opportunities, and addressing concerns related to social benefits and financial stability.

It is important to recognize the contributions that refugees can make to the host country's economy and society. By creating an environment that encourages refugees to actively participate in the labor market, Finland can harness the skills and talents of Ukrainian refugees and promote their successful integration into Finnish society.

While the issue of Ukrainian refugees and their participation in seasonal work presents challenges, it also calls for innovative solutions and collaborative efforts between the government, employers, and support organizations. By working together, Finland can create a supportive environment that enables Ukrainian refugees to rebuild their lives, contribute to the economy, and ultimately thrive in their new home.

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