Jobseekers must apply for four jobs a month as of the start of May
Changes introduced at the start of May will affect the services and jobseeking obligations of unemployed jobseekers. In the future, TE Offices will provide jobseekers with more individualized forms of support and services and encourage them to seek employment proactively. At the same time, the waiting periods before the payment of unemployment benefits will be reduced.
The changes, known as the Nordic labor market service model, will take effect on May 2, 2022. The objective is to improve Finland’s rate of employment, which is currently the lowest of all the Nordic countries. The model aims to help newly unemployed people find work more quickly and improve the rate of re-employment.
In summary, the amended law requires jobseekers to apply for work independently,
normally applying for four vacancies
per month, and keep in closer contact with the TE Office, especially in the early stages of jobseeking.
Initial interview and job application discussions with the TE Office or municipality to support jobseeking
TE Offices and the municipalities involved in the municipal trial to promote employment will provide more support for newly unemployed people in the first stages of jobseeking. An initial interview will be conducted to assess which services the jobseeker requires and draw up an employment plan. This will be arranged within five days of the jobseeker’s registration.
In the first three months, the jobseeker will meet an employment services officer at the TE Office or municipality approximately once every two weeks for supplementary jobseeking discussions. After this period, jobseeking discussions will take place every three months to check how the employment plan is put into practice. Supplementary jobseeking discussions can also be arranged.
If the job search goes on for longer than six months, a new period of more regular meetings with the TE Office or municipality will begin.
Jobseekers must apply for four vacancies per month
In the future, jobseekers will need to apply for four vacancies every month to retain the right to unemployment benefits. In general, jobseekers are free to decide which vacancies to apply for.
Applying for a vacancy can mean, for example, sending a job application to a specific workplace, submitting an open application, or contacting an employer directly. The TE Office may also assign job offers to the jobseeker in addition to the jobseeker’s proactive efforts.
However, the applicant’s working capacity and the state of the local labor market will be taken into consideration when assessing the requirement to apply for four jobs per month. For example, if there are no job opportunities in a certain area, the jobseeker will not be under an obligation to apply for four jobs. In addition, the vacancies must be for jobs that the jobseeker could reasonably be expected to get: Nobody is required to do anything that is beyond their capabilities.
Three-month protected period for laid-off employees
People who are laid off either full-time or part-time will not be obliged to apply for jobs for the first three months of the lay-off. Furthermore, if the employee has already been notified that the lay-off will end within one month, the TE Office will not arrange a jobseeking discussion, and there will be no obligation to seek new employment.
Employees on full-time lay-off will be required to apply for four vacancies every month after the three-month “protected period”. If a jobseeker is laid off by having their regular working hours reduced, they must apply for one vacancy within a three-month review period after the three-month protected period elapses.
Newly laid-off employees will only be invited to attend supplementary discussions if they request such discussions.
Model reduces waiting periods
The new jobseeking model will reduce the waiting periods before unemployment benefits are paid. In the future, the longest waiting period will be 45 days, compared with the current 90 days. The failure to draft, update, or implement an employment plan will not directly result in a waiting period. Examples of negligence include failing to attend an appointment at a TE Office or municipality or failing to apply for four vacancies in one month.
Under the new model, the first instance of forgetfulness or neglect will not immediately result in a waiting period. Instead, the TE Office or municipality will issue a written reminder to the jobseeker. The reminder will not affect the jobseeker’s entitlement to receive unemployment benefits. However, any forgetfulness or negligence after the first reminder will result in a new waiting period. After the second incident of negligence, the TE Office will impose a waiting period of five weekdays, and after the third incident, the waiting period will be ten weekdays. The fourth incident will result in an obligation to work.
A TE Office or municipality may impose an obligation to work on a jobseeker, meaning that the jobseeker must fulfill the obligation in order to regain their entitlement to unemployment benefits. In other words, the entitlement to unemployment benefits may be suspended indefinitely if the jobseeker fails to take the action required by the employment plan or refuses to accept a binding job offer four or more times in one year. The “obligation to work” means that the person must be employed or enrolled as a student for a certain period.
However, jobseekers will be given the opportunity to present a valid reason for failing to fulfill the requirements.
Nordic labor market service model (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland, tem.fi/en)
The services of jobseeker will change from May 2022 (TE Service, te-palvelut.fi/en)