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Employees in sectors critical to the functioning of society

Government Communications DepartmentMinistry for Foreign AffairsMinistry of Agriculture and ForestryMinistry of DefenceMinistry of Economic Affairs and EmploymentMinistry of Education and CultureMinistry of FinanceMinistry of JusticeMinistry of Social Affairs and HealthMinistry of Transport and CommunicationsMinistry of the EnvironmentMinistry of the Interior
Publication date 17.3.2020 17.34 | Published in English on 18.3.2020 at 16.00
Press release 145/2020

The Government resolution to slow the spread of coronavirus infections and to protect at-risk groups, issued on 16 March 2020, states as follows (section 2):

“The premises of schools, educational institutions, universities and universities of applied sciences as well as civic education and other liberal education institutes will be closed down, and contact teaching will be suspended. As an exception, however, pre-primary education organised in schools and contact teaching for grades 1–3 will continue for the children of parents working in sectors critical to the functioning of society. A further exception is that contact teaching will continue to be arranged for pupils who require it according to a decision on special-needs support; however, parents and guardians who are able to arrange childcare at home are still requested to do so. The above-mentioned arrangements will enter into force on Wednesday 18 March 2020.”

Employees in sectors critical to the functioning society are listed by administrative branch below. For each function, the education referred to in the resolution should be guaranteed only for the children of employees essential for carrying out the activities in question. Parents and guardians who are able to arrange for their children to be at home are requested to do so.

The Ministry of Education and Culture will issue instructions to education providers on how to apply the guidelines. The list may be supplemented by a decision of the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Government and state leadership

  • Employees of the Office of the President of the Republic, Parliament and the Government (ministries)
  • Employees of the Office of the Chancellor of Justice and the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman
  • Preparedness officers in the administrative branches

Administrative branch of the Ministry of Finance

  • Safeguarding the financial system; ensuring the financial and operational stability of financial market operators (banks, investment firms, infrastructure, etc.), continuity of the provision of financial market services essential to society, and continuity of central government debt management, asset management and guarantee activities
  • Acquisition and allocation of financial resources; Government transactions, including the processing of non-remunerated expenditures (e.g. municipal government subsidies), payment of wages and benefits, payment of citizens’ continuing primary compensations and allowances (statutory insurance pensions, life annuities and assistance pensions)
  • Employees responsible for tax administration, tax collection and rendering of accounts
  • Ensuring the safety of supply chains and goods; operational duties of Customs
  • Provision of state, municipal and intermunicipal ICT services related to securing the vital functions of society, including commercial ICT subcontractors that support the provision of these services.
  • Securing human resources; securing the operational capacity of the Office for the Government as Employer and municipal labour market institutions, securing decision-making related to the use of human resources in the public sector
  • Local government duties that safeguard residents’ wellbeing and basic services
  • Duties of central and local government authorities that are essential for the exercise of public authority, the wellbeing of the public and the functioning of society 

Administrative branch of the Ministry of Justice

  • Prison services and institutional staff of the Criminal Sanctions Agency
  • Essential functions of the autonomous region of Åland

Administrative branch of the Ministry of the Interior

  • Employees of the Border Guard
  • Employees of the National Police Board, police departments and national police units
  • Employees of the Emergency Response Centre Agency
  • Employees of the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service
  • Employees of the Finnish Immigration Service, reception centres and detention units
  • Rescue services: rescue service and preparedness personnel of Regional State Administrative Agencies, rescue services employees (including emergency medical services and first response personnel), on-call employees of contract fire brigades (including first response personnel)
  • Employees of the Crisis Management Centre

Administrative branch of the Ministry of Defence

Employees of the Defence Forces, at least as concerns the following tasks:

  • Preparedness
  • Supervision and safeguarding of territorial integrity
  • Executive assistance
  • Mobilisation
  • Training
  • Security and guard duties
  • In addition, the availability of employees required for general management and proactive decision-making as well as situational awareness and situation assessment must be ensured (applies to all above-mentioned sectors/responsibilities).
  • Maintenance and servicing, including services provided by subcontractors

Administrative branch of the Ministry of Education and Culture

  • Employees in early childhood education and care
  • Teaching staff more broadly at all levels of education
  • Employees of cultural memory organisations (partly)
  • For the sake of psychological resilience to crises, church and parish employees (partly)
  • Youth workers

Administrative branch of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

  • Food supply personnel, including primary production, food industry and distribution
  • Trade, trade logistics centres and transport, Food Service wholesale and institutional kitchens
  • Tasks related to safeguarding the water supply, including water supply and sewerage facilities, water treatment chemical production and logistics
  • Flood risk management and supervision of dam safety

Administrative branch of the Ministry of Transport and Communications

  • Finnish Transport Safety Agency Traficom, including driver's exams and customer service for professional qualifications, Ajovarma Oy
  • Transport Infrastructure Agency
  • Finnish Meteorological Institute
  • Employees responsible for transport in centres for economic development, transport and the environment (ELY centres)
  • Maintenance contractors (national and municipal road, rail and maritime routes)
  • ELY centre transport preparedness duties
  • Finferries archipelago transport
  • TMF (Traffic Management Finland) Group
  • Finnish Broadcasting Company and main commercial media
  • Operational employees and journalists
  • Employees essential for the operation of public transport
  • All bus, tram and metro drivers
  • Helsinki Region Transport traffic control
  • Security personnel (security guards and stewards)
  • Employees essential for the operation of goods transport
  • Transport of food, fuel and raw materials
  • all lorry drivers/all transport companies/Finnish Transport and Logistics SKAL members and others
  • lorry mechanics
  • terminal employees
  • Distribution transport and postal services:
  • Operational employees of distribution operators
  • Operational employees of Posti Group
  • Safeguarding the operations of the traffic control company (including ANS/air navigation services, VTS/maritime traffic, rail/road traffic)
  • Shipping companies and maritime transport (incl. icebreaking and Arctia Oy)
  • pilotage, vessel crews, port operator employees, i.e. port workers discharging/loading vessels, certain port service providers such as vessel mooring services and port administration, and archipelago traffic operators
  • Aviation:
  • employees involved in the provision of air navigation/air traffic services, such as air traffic controllers, air traffic information service, aviation weather service employees, air navigation technical employees, flight communications personnel
  • flight operator pilots, cabin crew, technical personnel, flight planning personnel, ground handling company personnel
  • airport security employees and security control room
  • airport maintenance employees, emergency service personnel, communications and technology personnel
  • Rail traffic:
  • Traffic control, personnel responsible for unit transport including drivers and shunting supervisors; employees responsible for the maintenance of safety equipment, electrical railways and infrastructure; electrical railway controller, conductor.
  • Telecommunications services
  • Operational employees of telecommunications operators, internet service providers, telecommunications contractors, ICT service providers and data security companies.
  • Rating and assessment bodies
  • Vehicle inspection
  • Other essential and vital functions of society that affect people’s mobility and communication

Administrative branch of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

  • Electricity, heating and fuel supply, including transfer and distribution
  • Nuclear and radiation safety
  • Enterprise financing
  • Pay administration
  • Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE-Offices), Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres) (procurement, management of TE services, business services), Development and Administration Centre (KEHA Centre) (human resources, digital services, payments), TE Customer Service Centre (telephone services).
  • Duties of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority related to merger control
  • Permit supervision of sites that pose a risk of major accidents under the responsibility of the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) (e.g. chemical plants, mines)
  • Registration duties of the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH)
  • National Emergency Supply Agency, pool secretaries and similar employees of the emergency supply organisation
  • Functions critical to security of supply, e.g. logistics; chemical, oil, plastic and packaging industries; pharmaceutical supply; food and energy supply; forestry, technology and construction industries
  • Duties related to the supervision, maintenance and servicing of systems critical to the functioning of society
  • Employees of the Finnish Immigration Service
  • Immigrant services and general advisory services in municipalities
  • Support functions necessary to ensure the operation of the above-mentioned duties and functions.

Administrative branch of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

  • Healthcare and social welfare employees, including research
  • Finnish Medicines Agency (Fimea)
  • Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK)
  • Management of the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) and guidance and supervision of critical functions
  • National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) management, communicable disease expertise and support functions, laboratory
  • State services provided by THL (forensic medicine, prison mental hospitals, state reform schools, state mental hospitals)
  • Finnish Institute of Occupational Health expertise related to communicable diseases and their health and occupational safety impacts
  • Shelter services
  • Social Security Appeal Board and other insurance appeal boards
  • Personal assistants for persons with disabilities
  • Round-the-clock helpline service for victims of violence (Nollalinja)
  • Management of Regional State Administrative Agencies’ basic rights and legal protection functions and occupational health and safety functions; guidance and supervision of critical functions
  • Pharmaceutical supply, including pharmaceutical supply operators and related logistics chains
  • Environmental healthcare employees
  • Kela and benefit functions of unemployment funds, other implementers of social security
  • Cleaning and sanitation services
  • Finnish Red Cross blood services and logistics

Administrative branch of the Ministry of the Environment

  • Waste management
  • Operation and waste management of municipal waste water treatment plants
  • Environmental permit supervision: preparedness for damage
  • Employees maintaining the operation of environmental data registers
  • On-call employees of the Finnish Environment Institute

Administrative branch of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs

  • Consular services
  • Securing the conditions for foreign trade
  • Export control and export authorisation procedures
  • EU trade policy
  • Security policy, Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy

Support services

  • Essential information management services enabling critical functions and distance work in all sectors
  • Burial services