What should an employer know about the first weeks of a foreign employee in Finland – and how does the coronavirus pandemic affect them?
We have previously written on our blog about what an employer should know during the first few weeks of a foreign employee. The coronavirus pandemic has added some new issues to consider, which we will address in the following.
Weeks 1 and 2
The pandemic particularly affects the first two weeks of a foreign employee in Finland, as those arriving in the country are advised to remain in voluntary quarantine. Those foreign employees who are in a hurry to get to work as soon as possible after entering the country can shorten the quarantine with two negative coronavirus test results.
Starting a new job remotely poses challenges to the job orientation. Special attention should also be paid to adapting to the work community when new co-workers cannot be met face-to-face.
During self-quarantine, the employee often lives in temporary accommodation, but settling-in also progresses remotely. The relocation consultant supports the customer remotely and advises on quarantine issues, such as food delivery, if necessary. The employee can also start filling in the forms required for registrations.
It’s possible to start looking for an apartment already during quarantine, and, if necessary, to even choose the apartment remotely, thanks to virtual apartment viewings. Usually, however, the actual home search does not begin until after quarantine.
After quarantine, it is important to get the local registrations and necessary official matters in order as soon as possible. For example, the tax and banking matters are crucial for the salary payments. For many people who have moved to Finland, the help of an expert has been necessary especially with the registrations, as they are perceived as particularly complex.
Finding a suitable apartment as soon as possible will help the employee adjust to the new country. A nice home is especially important during the pandemic, when people spend more time at home than usual. The availability and features of apartments vary considerably between different countries, so the help of an expert and the introduction of a newcomer to the Finnish housing market will speed up the process of finding a suitable apartment. Assistance is also needed in the negotiation of tenancy agreements and utilities, which many find difficult. For those moving with a family, it is also important to arrange the daycare and schooling of the children once a suitable apartment has been found.
Once the necessities have been taken care of, the employee can focus on getting to know their new hometown. During the pandemic, exploring the activities, attractions and other local services is more limited, so local tips are especially welcome. Employees who have moved from abroad have been impressed, for example, by the good outdoor activity opportunities in Finland, which can be used even during a pandemic.
Does your foreign employee need help with moving to Finland? Contact us!