Several temporary changes were made during the spring and summer 2020 to the laws governing unemployment benefit in Finland due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many of these exceptional arrangements expired at the end of the year.
These legal changes will remain in force until the end of June 2021.
The protected portion is the maximum that an unemployed claimant may earn without losing benefit. All earned income exceeding the protected portion then affects the unemployment benefit payable.
The protected portion is normally EUR 300 per calendar month (or EUR 279 over a four-week period). This ceiling has now been temporarily increased to EUR 500 per calendar month (or EUR 465 over four calendar weeks).
The increase in the protected portion also applies to regular claimants who were already receiving unemployment benefit, but it only affects benefits paid on claims related to the period between 1 June 2020 and 30 June 2021.
A mobility allowance may be paid to a claimant who is eligible for unemployment benefit and accepts an offer of work at a location far from his or her home. It may also be paid when an employee moves from a similarly distant location due to work.
A mobility allowance may now be paid on a temporary basis to both full-time and part-time employees whose daily work-related journeys exceed two hours when the job begins. Under the normal rules, such eligible commuting should take at least three hours in full-time work and not less than two hours in part-time work. The change affects jobs beginning as of 12 June 2020 or thereafter, but will no longer apply if employment begins after 30 June 2021.
Applications for a mobility allowance should be filed at your unemployment fund or at Kela. Depending on the duration of employment, the allowance is payable for between 30 and 60 days when a job lasts for at least two months. It corresponds to the basic daily allowance and labour market support.
No. As of 1 January, 2021 a jobseeker is no longer entitled to suspend the employment promotion service without losing unemployment benefit for a cause arising from the coronavirus epidemic.
Automated monitoring of employment plan implementation by the online service has also been re-introduced as of 1 Febryary, 2021, meaning that a jobseeker may lose entitlement to unemployment benefits due to failure to implement the employment plan.
A new law on the right of the self-employed to unemployment benefit took effect on 8 April, 2020, giving self-employed and freelance workers enhanced access to unemployment benefit until 30 June, 2021. These workers may seek labour market support from Kela without having to stop trading if they are unable to work full-time, or if their livelihood is reduced due to the coronavirus epidemic.
A self-employed worker who registered as a jobseeker by no later than 15 April, 2020 is eligible for labour market support as of 16 March, 2020, despite failing to register at this earlier date. Benefits will nevertheless be payable only as of the time when the other eligibility conditions have been satisfied.
An unemployed or otherwise eligible applicant beginning full-time self-employment may normally receive a start-up grant from the TE Office for up to 12 months. This maximum period has now been temporarily extended to 18 months. The amendment seeks to ensure that self-employed claimants are able to launch and establish their businesses, despite the exceptional conditions caused by the coronavirus epidemic. The amendment will remain in force until 31 December 2021.
1. Register as a jobseeker on your very first day of unemployment or layoff.
2. Follow all the instructions of TE Office carefully.
3. The unemployment benefit must be applied separately. Apply and ask about your right for the benefit from your unemployment fund or Kela.