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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure FI-2020-17/540 Updated – measures in Finland

State-funded unemployment security during the waiting period

Valtion rahoittama työttömyysetuus omavastuuajalla

Country Finland , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 20 April 2020 – 31 December 2020
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Income protection beyond short-time work
– Income support for unemployed
Author Amanda Kinnunen (Oxford Research) and Eurofound
Measure added 13 April 2020 (updated 10 July 2020)

Background information

According to sections 7 and 5 of the Unemployment Security Act (Työttömyysturvalaki) (1290/2002), labour market subsidy and basic or earnings-related unemployment allowance can be paid out after a job-seeker has been unemployed or temporarily laid-off for 5 working days.

Some of the COVID-19 related temporary amendments to the Finnish labour market regulation have weakened the possibilities of employees to prepare for unemployment. As a result of this, temporary amendments to the Unemployment Security Act and other related Acts have been made. These amendments remove the waiting period in the sense that job-seekers will receive benefits from day one of the unemployment period. During this period, the state will cover for the expenses (after the waiting period unemployment funds will cover parts of the earnings-related unemployment allowance of their members).

Content of measure

This measure applies to all job-seekers. As for usual, persons who are laid off temporarily or dismissed (either for personal reasons or financial or production-related reasons) need to register with the TE-services as unemployed job-seekers on the first day of the lay-off or unemployment period.

Also during the waiting period the amount of financial support is dependent on whether the job-seeker is a member of an unemployment fund and meets the specific criteria (temporary changes due to COVID-19 has been made) and can apply for earnings-related or basic unemployment allowance or not. Those who do not qualify for earnings-related or basic unemployment benefit receive labour market subsidy.

The temporary removal of the waiting period applies to cases where the waiting period has started between 16 March 2020 and 7 July 2020.


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

06 July 2020

In May 2020, the peak-level social partners jointly proposed that temporary amendments to unemployment allowance should be extended to 31 December 2020.

In June 2020, the Parliament accepted the Government's proposal to extend the duration of the temporary amendments concerning the right of laid off employees to unemployment security until 31 December 2020.

Use of measure

By the end of May 2020, there were 432,700 unemployed job-seekers in Finland which is 206,200 more than the year before. This includes both unemployed job-seekers and temporarily laid off job-seekers.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Social insurance
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


In March 2020, the peak-level social partners (the Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland, the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK, the Finnish Confederation of Professionals STTK and the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK) jointly proposed a set of actions for the Finnish Government. The measures were proposed as a package that includes both measures that support adaptation of businesses to the new market situation and measures that improve the situation of employees who have been dismissed or temporarily laid off.

State-funded unemployment security during the waiting period was part of this proposal.

Views and reactions

The peak-level social partners stress that this measure is part of the wider package of measures (proposed by them in March 2020) and amendments to labour law that include both measures that facilitate adaptation of businesses to the new market situation but also measures that support employees who are being either temporarily or permanently dismissed.


  • 02 April 2020: Hallituksen esitys eduskunnalle laeiksi työttömyysturvalain, työttömyysetuuksien rahoituksesta annetun lain ja työttömyyskassalain väliaikaisesta muuttamisesta (
  • 09 April 2020: Unemployment benefit in the coronavirus situation (


Eurofound (2020), State-funded unemployment security during the waiting period, measure FI-2020-17/540 (measures in Finland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.