Temporary changes to unemployment security

The Parliament of Finland has approved temporary changes to the legislation concerning unemployment security and temporary lay-offs. Originally the changes were proposed by labour market organizations.

We have listed below all the temporary changes to the unemployment security and employment relationships which were made to facilitate circumstances of workers and companies during the corona pandemic. The changes are in effect as of 16 of March 2020 until 30 of June or 31 of July 2020 depending on the law.

Self-liability period

Earnings-related allowance will temporarily be paid also for the five days self-liability period. The general rule was that for the first five days a self-liability period will be set and no allowance can be paid for that period.

This concerns the applications to which self-liability period would otherwise be set between 16 of March and 6 of July 2020. If your application has already been processed and self-liability period set after 16 of March, the application will automatically be corrected retroactively.

Employment condition

After the change earnings-related allowance can be granted already after three months work (13 calendar weeks). Otherwise the employment condition for earnings-related allowance would be fulfilled only after six months of work (26 calendar weeks).

This concerns the applicants, who

  • would not otherwise fulfill the employment condition,
  • have worked for at least one calendar week that accrues employment condition after 1 of March 2020, and
  • would be granted the earnings-related allowance on 5 of July 2020 at the latest.

Halving of the employment condition will also concern the family members of entrepreneurs, whose employment condition will now be 26 weeks instead of 52 weeks.

Maximum number of allowance days for the temporary laid-off

Earnings-related allowance can be paid for 300-500 days, but a change in legislation was passed and states that the maximum number of allowance days will not be counted, if the person has been temporarily laid off.

This will concern lay-offs that have started on 16 of March 2020 or after. The lay-off days will not be counted between 16 of March and 30 of June 2020.

If your lay-off has started on 16 of March or after, but if these days have been counted, they will be automatically corrected retroactively.

Unemployment security for entrepreneurs

No changes were made to the unemployment security for entrepreneurs in relation to earnings-related allowance. In future, earnings-related allowance can be granted if the company has been closed down, working for the company has ended and the entrepreneurship is part-time or short-term.

However, an entrepreneur can apply for the labor market subsidy from Kela, if the income received from the entrepreneurship has decreased due to the corona pandemic. A border income in order to receive labor market subsidy for those working as an entrepreneur is 1090 euros per month. Temporary law is in effect between 16 of March and 30 of June 2020.

Changes in practices of temporary lay-offs

The entrepreneurship or studies of the person that has been laid off will not be investigated in the TE Office. The purpose is to speed up the processing of unemployment benefit cases of those that are laid off.

In addition, there is no obligation to draw up an employment plan nor participate in the services promoting employment offered by the TE Office. This concerns only those that are temporarily laid-off.

However, it is still obligatory for the temporarily laid-off to register as an unemployed job seeker with the TE Office. The registration can be done online, but it must be made in person. It is also required that the temporary laid-off will accept work offered by their own employer.

These changes are related to the lay-offs that have started on 16 of March 2020 or after and are in effect until 31 of July 2020.

Changes to temporary lay-offs and endings of employment relationships

  • Employer has the right to lay off temporarily an employee working under fixed-term contract based on the same conditions that the employer would have, if the employee had a permanent contract.
  • Notice period of temporary lay-off preceding the lay-off will be reduced from 14 days to five days.
  • Length of the cooperation negotiations concerning temporary lay-offs will be reduced from either six weeks or 14 days to five days.
  • Temporary lay-off can also be based on a contract between the employer and the employee. A temporary lay-off based on mutual agreement requires, however, that the lay-off is carried out fixed-term and is necessary due to the operations and economical circumstances of the employer.

These changes to the Employment Contracts Act and Act on Co-operations within Undertakings are in effect until 30 of June 2020.