Empowering Migrants for Employment EME



Best practices

Work-life picture cards – a tool to help with abstract labour-market terminology

#tool #worklife #communication

The good practice in a nutshell

This method involves a picture-card collection covering key labour-market terminology from the point of view of both employers and employees. The participants are given or choose various cards and then place them in the correct section: they have to decide whether it presents a right vs. a responsibility and whether it applies to the employer or instead the employee.

Here is an example. The point of view of employees is that they have to work and they have the right to get paid for it. The employers’ point of view is that they offer employment and their responsibility is to pay for the work done by the employees.

There are also three ‘protecting factors’ represented in the picture-card collection: the law, the collective labour agreement, and the labour contract.

You can include the role of the trade unions in the discussion.

The picture-card deck might include, for example, the terms:

  • employer and employee
  • right and responsibility
  • the law
  • collective agreement
  • boss
  • unemployment benefits
  • work contract
  • unemployment
  • give notice
  • resign
  • take care of the work equipment
  • offer work
  • take care of workplace safety
  • comply with workplace regulations

Developer or user

The Finnish Catch Up With Work project in 2017-2019.

Target group

Long-term unemployed immigrants.

Why it is needed

Before entering the labour market, the participants get a clear and logical overview of their rights and responsibilities in the future as an employee and what they can expect from their employer. The discussion during the exercise helps to concretise the roles and possible difficulties in the labour market.


The good practice requires:

  • picture cards containing the basic labour-market terminology (visit the Finnish Papunet site, https://papunet.net/materiaalia/kuvapankki).
  • potentially, samples of collective labour agreements and labour contracts for several professions

Expected outcomes

  • The picture cards make discussing abstract phenomena easier and more concrete.
  • The tutors obtain insight into how much the participants already know about work life’s rules.
  • The cards aid in discussing past experience, beliefs, and possible mistaken beliefs about the labour market.

‘Do’s and ‘don’t’s

  • The terms should be discussed with concrete and simplified examples.
  • The plain-language method and the pictures are suitable for quite different language levels and for heterogeneous groups.


This tool can be used in group guidance in every country.