Promotion of non-discrimination as part of everyday work – Kela’s partnership with Helsinki Pride brings important topics out into the open  

Kela will join the Helsinki Pride human rights event, which will run between 27 June 2022 and 3 July 2022. Kela’s partnership with Helsinki Pride is part of its social responsibility agenda. The promotion of equality is written into Kela’s social responsibility policies and its strategy. 

The goal of Helsinki Pride is to promote equality, non-discrimination and human rights. Partnership with Helsinki Pride is a natural part of Kela’s efforts to implement and promote these goals in its operations. 

In spring 2022, Kela brought out a new set of strategic social responsibility policies (in Finnish). One of the common themes behind the policies is diversity. The Finnish population is becoming more diverse in terms of personal backgrounds, traditions and circumstances. This change requires Kela to recognise the diversity of its customers and to strengthen its understanding of their needs.

One of the objectives of Kela’s updated strategy is to offer customers an excellent customer experience. Trust is needed on both sides in order for the interactions between Kela and its customers to go as smoothly as possible.

 “Building trust requires that all customers are accepted as they are. The same applies to the work community. All Kela staff members must have the right to perform their work without facing any discrimination or unequal treatment”, says Pasi Lankinen, Kela’s HR director.

Last weekend’s attack in Oslo ahead of the Pride march came as a shock to people in Finland and everywhere else. The events in Oslo remind us why it is important to continue to work for non-discrimination.

Kela is helping to promote non-discrimination among families  

There are many different ways in which efforts to improve equality are reflected in Kela’s daily operations. Kela has contributed to the preparations for the family leave reform, which will come into effect on 1 August 2022. The reform increases equality and non-discrimination in the working world by allowing parents to share equally their family leave entitlements and their care responsibilities. It also supports non-discrimination among children from different family structures and improves their potential to receive care from their parents. Efforts to recognise family diversity continue.  

One example is the participation of Kela Research in the Laki ja perheiden monimuotoisuus (Law and family diversity) project. It is part of the Finnish Government’s analysis, assessment and research programme and looks at (and seeks solutions for) the challenges that different types of families face in terms of the law.

According to researcher Ella Sihvonen of Kela, the project follows on from the preparations for the family leave reform, analysing such topics as the legislation-related challenges that rainbow and multiparent families face.

Pride Month to culminate in a celebratory week also at Kela 

Kela’s Pride Week celebrations include the traditional flying of rainbow flags at the main office in Töölö, Helsinki. On Saturday, 2 July 2022, members of Kela’s rainbow network will join the Pride Parade and celebrations at a park.  Open to all Kela staff members, the network seeks to promote non-discrimination and to offer peer support. 

The Pride Week is also featured in the social media on which Kela maintains a presence. Pride-related content will be displayed most prominently on Kela’s Instagram account @kela_fpa.  

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