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Values and ethical principles


The City’s values are resident orientation, ecological operations, fairness, equality, economic responsibility, safety, participation and business-friendliness.

Ethical principles

The City emphasizes honesty, fairness, equality and openness in all operations. The City strives, together with its citizens, to build a stable and safe environment, to respect its citizens’ and employees’ lawful rights and to support citizen and employee wellbeing and happiness. A good reputation is an important principle for the City.

The City produces or organizes high-quality services for its citizens in a resident-oriented manner, efficiently and economically in both official languages of the city. City employees understand and anticipate citizen needs. A common Helsinki spirit respects the languages and cultures of minorities as well as the cultural rights of all residents. Racism is not tolerated in Helsinki – Helsinki residents are diverse and all are equal. Equality between women and men is the basic right of all human beings and one of the basic values of society. Decision making is carried out with due respect to gender, equality and the environment.

Resident and customer information is handled in accordance with the appropriate regulations and with respect to privacy. The City’s communication is open, relevant, proactive and truthful, and it should adequately inform citizens, the media, the authorities and other interest groups about the City decision making and services. The City’s relationships with interest groups are active, service-oriented and supportive of the City’s overall interests.

Employee skills and expertise are a resource to the City. Every City employee should act honestly and loyally. The City treats its interest groups according to uniform principles and expects them to honour the City’s ethical principles. The City does not steer a contractual partner or any other party to act in any manner that the City could not accept in its own operations according to the City regulations and operation principles.

The City’s decision making is open, public and equalitarian. Transparency is promoted in all financial transactions to prevent corruption and bribery. Personal interests must not affect decision making at any level. City employees should avoid such personal pursuits that could be in conflict with their duties in the City employ.

The City does not tolerate any transgressions or dishonesty in its operations, and the City property and funds must not be used for one’s personal gain. Any allegations of transgressions are investigated and, if necessary, the City prosecutes the transgressor.

City employees must not demand, accept or approve a gift or bonus that is used to influence or sought to influence or could influence their actions in the City employ. Supervisors must ensure that employees are aware of the City regulations concerning trips and other financial bonuses from outside agents.  

The City adheres to the fundamental international norms of labour in its procurement, for example, as concerns the use of child labour. The City actively fights the grey economy and expects its contractual partners to do the same.  

The City works actively with taxation authorities, other cities, the private sector and civic organizations to fight the grey economy both nationally and internationally. Helsinki strives to help prevent taxpayer money from ending up in tax havens.

Helsinki is an internationally proactive, evolving and competent actor in bearing global responsibility locally. The City implements this principle by promoting economic, social and environmental progress. Helsinki bears its responsibility for fighting climate change. Global responsibility is evident in the overall quality and development of City operations.

As an employer, the City emphasizes equality in all operations and respects its employees’ rights to express their opinions, to act according to their beliefs and to participate in civic activities. The City treats employees as individuals and in a manner that allows them to work in the best possible ways fulfilling their rights and responsibilities. The City provides its personnel with a safe, healthy, equalitarian and diverse working environment with no kind of discrimination. City workplaces do not tolerate bullying, sexual or racial harassment or any other inappropriate behaviour in any form. The City is smoke-free employer.   

Every City supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the ethical principles are communicated to the staff and that all members of the staff adhere to these principles.

Human Resources Division »

06.12.2019 14:59