Device-independent online services would promote equality
NB: Unofficial translation
The Chancellor of Justice informed the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of his views on equality in access to services for jobseekers.
The online services offered by the employment and economic development administration to jobseekers have not been adapted to all mobile devices. Therefore, all jobseekers may not be able to use online services to the same extent, but the extent of the services depends on the device they have at their disposal. According to the Chancellor of Justice, smooth use of services with commonly available devices, which is the target state in the Act on Electronic Services and Communication in the Public Sector, has not been fully realised in practice. Difficulties in using services have affected people who, for example, have not been able to purchase different devices due to their low level of financial resources.
The employment and economic development administration is reforming its electronic service system. According to the Chancellor of Justice, electronic services should be promoted in a customer-oriented manner in the reform work. The aim in online services should be to maximise device independence, which means that digital services should also be possible with commonly used mobile devices and their applications. This is also required by the Act on the Provision of Digital Services, which will enter into force soon and aims to improve everyone's equal access to digital services. Provisions on the promotion of equality are also laid down in the Non-discrimination Act and the Act on Public Employment and Business Services.
The Chancellor of Justice also noted that customers of Employment and Economic Development Offices must be ensured access to services also in person when the service cannot otherwise be obtained. The reduction in the number of establishments must not lead to their difficult accessibility making access to services unreasonably difficult or even possibly preventing it.
The Chancellor of Justice requested the Ministry to inform, by the end of 2019, what measures it has taken to safeguard the service principle both in-person services and in the arrangement of device-independent digital services.