Temporary changes in unemployment benefit and services for the unemployed

Updated on 8 March, 2022

Which coronavirus exceptions for unemployment benefit expired at the end of November 2021?

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 2020. The following exceptions expired at the end of November 2021:

  • The protected portion of the unemployment benefit was returned from EUR 500 to EUR 300 per calendar month.
  • Terms of the mobility allowance were restored.
  • Terms of the unemployment benefit for the self-employed were restored but the reliefs came again into force for January and February 2022.

Do the five waiting days at the start of an unemployment benefit claim apply?

Yes they do. The five waiting days at the start of a claim did not apply between 1 January, 2022 and 28 February, 2022. Starting 1 March, 2022, there is a waiting period at the beginning of the unemployment period. Unemployment benefits are payable after a waiting period of five days from the first day of your unemployment or layoff.

Do freelancers and the self-employed have an enhanced access to unemployment benefit?

Not any more. Self-employed and freelancers working as entrepreneurs had enhanced access to unemployment benefit from 1 January, 2022 until 28 February, 2022. Starting 1 March, 2022, self-employed persons are not entitled to labour market subsidy if the entrepreneurial activity still continues.

How have unemployment benefit payments been eased?

  • An unemployment fund or Kela may pay part of an unemployment benefit claim in advance for no longer than six months before finally deciding the benefit application, meaning that claimants will not have to wait an unreasonably long time for payment. Such benefit advances were previously payable for only two months. Unemployment benefit must nevertheless still be claimed for each individual period of joblessness.
  • No special adjustment period or associated income calculation will apply when computing adjusted unemployment benefit, meaning that the adjustment period and the benefit claim period will always be four consecutive calendar weeks or one month, even if this period includes days when the applicant is not eligible for benefit.

These legal changes will remain in force until the end of 2022.

What to do if you become unemployed or laid off?

1. Register as a jobseeker on your very first day of unemployment or layoff.

  • You can do it at TE Office's E-Services (service only in Finnish and Swedish) if you are a citizen of Finland or an EU or EEA Member State.
  • If you are a citizen of other countries or do not have online banking codes, a mobile certificate or a smart ID card:
    • If you have been a customer previously, you can register via the telephone service: 0295 020 713.
    • Register by using an open online form without identification.
    • Visit the TE Office in person - you can find paper registration forms and instructions outside the office. Fill in the form and leave it in a mailbox outside the office or mail it later. If you can not fill in the form, contact TE Office by phone.

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.

Information from authorities

TE services – How to begin your job search?

TE services – TE services in the corona situation