Lengthening work careers by shortening holidays

What utter rubbish!

The resigning chairman of board of Confederation of Finnish Industries, Sakari Tamminen, is saying that annual leaves of Finnish workers should be made shorter in order to "lengthen the work career".

Again, what utter rubbish!

Finnish holiday benefits are fairly good compared to the U.S. or Japan, for instance. People generally have 4 or 5 weeks of annual leave. Bank holidays and other public holidays are not very extensive.

Finnish holiday scheme is also fairly good when compared to any country in the Third World, where only the nomenclature has nice holidays, and everyone else works more or less all the time, because they cannot afford anything else.

But the Finnish scheme is not that excessively good. There is no significant competitive advantage to gain by shortening holidays. Any addition in nominal annual working time is likely to result in added sickness leaves and other things that effectively reduce productivity. In my opinion, we have reached a perfect balance here and the world is now ready. Let's not rock the boat.

Yes, there is some actual need to lengthen the average working career of people in this country. Far too many people are retiring from working life long before the actual nominal retirement age. Many of these go to "unemployment pension" which is basically a track for people are cannot or will not be employed, for various reasons. Many are also pensioned because of physical or psychological ilnesses that render them incapable of working. The burden of financing the pensions is carried by the working age groups, and that burden is increasing to a point where people don't feel it is feasible to pay high pension contributions and know that you're not getting any real pension yourself. It's a Ponzi scheme.

How does shortening annual leaves from current level help this? In no way whatsoever. To the contrary, even more people will feel that the compensation they get from working is not fair.

This feeling is not at all helped by the fact that many representatives of nomenclature - corporate leaders, staff of these think tanks saying how important it is to work to an older age - are themselves taking generous early retirement packages.

If I had a good share of ownership in some Finnish industries, and therefore had a vote, I'd tell my servants - these people working for employer organizations etc - that they should forget the early retirement packages, because they are making very, very bad PR work.

Entirely not credible.

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