Published 31.10.2019

The extensive Metsähallitus equality and nondiscrimination plan has been published

The new Metsähallitus equality and nondiscrimination plan is more comprehensive than the statutory plan, and will assist the organisation in promoting equality and eliminating discrimination. Metsähallitus employs a staff of around 1,200 experts from a variety of fields. It also has an extensive number of customers, stakeholders and partners. The changes now being introduced will improve the working lives of thousands of people and the free time of even more.

The Metsähallitus equality and nondiscrimination plan is divided into three sections: promotion of nondiscrimination in Metsähallitus’s employer activities, promotion of nondiscrimination in its services, and measures to ensure nondiscrimination of Sámi people. The plan will be used to assess the current situation regarding how equality and non-discrimination are realised at Metsähallitus among its staff and in its operations in general. The plan specifies how Metsähallitus will from this point forward identify, intervene in and prevent discrimination and promote equal treatment and gender equality.

The equality and nondiscrimination plan implements Metsähallitus’s responsibility programme and provides further clarification for the Code of Conduct in the relevant areas. The plan helps to ensure the implementation, within the operations of Metsähallitus, of responsibility policies outlined in international responsibility instructions and guidelines, such as the UN’s Agenda 2030, as well as the UN principles relating to companies and human rights. The plan was drafted by a working group made up of employees selected for the task. It will be in effect from 2019 to 2022, and the responsibilities have been assigned for its implementation and monitoring.

Promotion of nondiscrimination in Metsähallitus’s employer activities

A wage survey has been initiated at Metsähallitus. It is being carried out using a new approach in order to highlight any unjustified wage differences.

Improvements are being made in the access of fixed-term employees to workplace benefits. For example, the ePass workplace benefit is being extended so as to be available to fixed-term employees as well.
Increases in workplace diversity are being supported through methods such as anonymous recruitment. The challenges of integrating work with the rest of life are being tackled through measures such as developing distance working practices and flexible work time – areas where the new Working Hours Act will provide better options than are currently available.

Metsähallitus has a zero tolerance policy towards harassment. Instructions and procedures for intervening in cases of harassment continue to be developed. Tolerant and respectful ways of speaking are promoted both within Metsähallitus and in interactions with stakeholder groups.

Supervisor trainings are one central method for moving management and supervisory work towards greater equality and consistency and for strengthening ethical operating practices within the organisation.

The equality and nondiscrimination survey that has been carried out is utilised in the planning of developmental measures. Around half of all staff members participated in the survey.

Promotion of nondiscrimination in Metsähallitus’s services

A lot of work has been carried out at Metsähallitus’s visitor sites in order to improve disabled access. Accessibility will continue to be improved both at visitor sites and in offices.

The Metsähallitus webpages will be updated to comply with the accessibility requirements by 23 September 2020, while the mobile applications will be updated accordingly by 23 June 2021. On the webpages, attention will be given to accessibility features such as reading with a screen reader, subtitles with videos, and browsing without amounts using the tab key.

Development work is being carried out on the openness of participatory processes and communications relating to them, and the dialogue skills of those participating in these processes are being strengthened.

Metsähallitus is able to increase the diversity of planning work groups primarily among its own staff, as stakeholder organisations appoint their own specialists for planning processes. The objective is to avoid even unintended support for unequal practices in planning processes.

The current situation regarding nondiscrimination in Metsähallitus’s participatory planning has been investigated through both research carried out by partner and stakeholder groups and also student thesis research.

Measures to ensure nondiscrimination of Sámi people

Metsähallitus is increasing its staff members’ understanding of Sámi people’s culture and rights. Those staff members working in Sámi areas or among Sámi people are particularly encouraged to learn the Sámi language, and support is provided for this where possible. In order to ensure effective nondiscrimination, positive special treatment may be applied in recruitment situations.

Monitoring is being carried out on the effectiveness of the Akwé: Kon operating model, developed together by Metsähallitus and the Sámi Parliament, and the model will be further developed where needed.

Communication and interactions are being improved between the reindeer herding cooperatives in the Sámi areas and Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd.

In cooperation with the Sámi Parliament, Metsähallitus is developing monitoring methods for the measures which have been decided on in the central processes and plans of the Sámi Homeland and which are aimed at securing the conditions for the maintenance of Sámi cultural practices.

For the contents of the plan that relate to the Sámi people, statutory section 9 negotiations have been carried out with the Sámi Parliament

Metsähallitus will present its extensive equality and nondiscrimination plan in the Tallberg Hall of the Helsinki Clarion Hotel during the Forestry Days on Thursday, 31 October 2019 between 11:00 and 12:00.

Further information:
Terhi Vires, Director of Human Resources, Metsähallitus, tel. +358 (0)40 8319 542, terhi.vires(at)
Terhi Koipijärvi, Director of Communications, Metsähallitus, tel. +358 (0)50 5989 958, terhi.koipijarvi(at)