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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

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

Factsheet for case FI-2020-17/550 Updated – measures in Finland

Temporarily shortened working requirement for unemployment benefit eligibility

Työssäoloehdon väliaikainen lyhennys

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

Background information

In accordance with section 5 of Unemployment Security Act (Työttömyysturvalaki) (1290/2002), unemployed job-seekers who fulfill the working requirement are entitled to basic unemployement allowance or earnings-related unemployment allowance, depending on whether they are members in a unemployment fund or not. If they do not meet the working requirement, they will receive labour market subsidy instead of unemployment allowance.

Due to market disturbances caused by COVID-19, many workers are or will be temporarily laid off or unemployed. Many of them do not meet the original working requirement of 26 weeks and are not thus entitled to unemployment allowance.

As a result of the temporary amendments to the Unemployment Security Act, the minimum working requirement has been shortened. The requirement is now 13 weeks instead of 26 weeks (during the past 28 months).

Content of measure

This measure applies retroactively to unemployed job-seekers who have worked at least one calendar week since March 2020 and who do not meet the original work requirement of 26 weeks. This applies to both temporarily-laid off job-seekers and job-seekers who are dismissed either due to reasons related to person or financial or production-related reasons.

The original working requirement of 26 weeks is applied to those that meet the original requirement. The shortened requirement of 13 weeks is applied to those who do not meet the original requirement.

As a result of this measure, more unemployed job-seekers will meet the working requirement. If they are members to a unemployment fund, they will receive earnings-related unemployment fund instead of the basic unemployment fund.

Earning-related unemployment allowance is dependent on the wage the unemployed job-seeker has earned during the work requirement period, in other words either the past 13 weeks or 26 weeks (or more).

The average earning-related unemployment fund is €65 per working day whereas the basic unemployment allowance (and the labour market subsidy) is €34 per day.

Updates

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

05 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

No information to date.

Target groups

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

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Public employment service
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 Direct consultation outside a formal body Direct consultation outside a formal body

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

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level

Involvement

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.

Shortening the working requirement was part of the 15-point list suggested by the social partners.

Furthermore, peak-level social partners were consulted during the drafting period of the amendment.

In May 2020, the peak-level social partners proposed to the Government that the duration of the temporary provisions, including temporarily shortened working requirement, should be extended to the end of 2020.

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.

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.

Sources

  • 20 March 2020: Social partners’ proposals to help businesses in the corona crisis (akava.fi)
  • 02 April 2020: Hallituksen esitys eduskunnalle laeiksi työttömyysturvalain, työttömyysetuuksien rahoituksesta annetun lain ja työttömyyskassalain väliaikaisesta muuttamisesta (www.eduskunta.fi)
  • 14 May 2020: Labor market organizations agree on layoffs and unemployment security (Työmarkkinakeskusjärjestöt sopuun lomautuksista ja työttömyysturvasta) (ek.fi)
  • 23 June 2020: Measures that have brought security and flexibility to labour markets during coronavirus epidemic will be extended (Jatkoa toimille, joilla on tuotu turvaa ja joustoa työmarkkinoille korona-aikana) (tem.fi)

Citation

Eurofound (2020), Temporarily shortened working requirement for unemployment benefit eligibility, case FI-2020-17/550 (measures in Finland), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19eupolicywatch

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