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Coronavirus business survey

84% companies see workplace safety level good : EK

Published : 16 May 2020, 00:46

Updated : 16 May 2020, 11:24

  DF Report

Photo Source EK.

Finnish employer companies are relatively well prepared for the security practices required to enable employees to return from remote work back to the office and other physical work environment, according to a survey.

The business survey conducted by the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), however, said that there is a lot of uncertainty associated with the exit phase in general.

A quarter of companies estimate that testing and tracing of the epidemic is not well enough under control in Finland.

Re-opening the society after the COVID-19 lockdown is much debated in the country.

“The economic distress has not eased in Finland, but companies sense at least some light at the end of the tunnel,” said Jyri Häkämies, Director General of the EK.

“The Finnish government’s first decisions to lift lock down restrictions have been an important signal. Companies dare to estimate that the peak of temporary layoffs may have passed, at least for now. The risk of bankruptcies is also expected to be reduced,” he said.

The survey results said that the situation of employer companies is still very severe. One third estimates that sales will be at least half lower than normal in May.

The layoff situation has remained unchanged. 45% of companies had made temporary lay-offs (44% in previous EK survey in April). 9% are preparing them in the coming weeks (15% estimate this in April). while 7% of companies have so far made redundancies (5% in April).

About 11% companies fear going bankrupt, which was 16% in April.

Companies were asked to estimate how safe it is for employees to return back to the office or other physical work environment after the remote work phase:

Physical working conditions (own premises, disinfection, distances, customer contacts) are mostly considered safe. 31% rate them as very safe and 53% as reasonably safe. 9% felt that additional safety measures were still needed.

The biggest concern is how well the Finnish society can manage the epidemic (identify and trace those infected). About 23% of the companies estimate that the situation in Finland is not yet under control due to e.g. insufficient testing.

A total of 14% of all companies are concerned about the adequacy of masks and other protective equipment (only half of companies, however, need protective equipment in their daily operations).

One-fifth considers public transport to be a significant risk to staff safety.

The proportion of unaware respondents is quite high, indicating the need for companies to receive more guidance on safe practices.

Dissatisfaction was caused by the allocation of financial state support and the lack of a clear exit plan.

The fourth COVID-19 business survey of EK was answered by 1,639 Finnish entrepreneurs and business leaders, all of whom are employers. The survey was conducted on May 11-12.