Government proposes amendments to Act on Municipal Experiments to Promote Employment
The Government proposes amendments to the Act on Municipal Experiments to Promote Employment, as required by Parliament at the adoption of the Act in December 2020. Provisions that would enable the transfer of a customer from a pilot municipality to the TE Office or to another pilot municipality would be added to the Act. Moreover, provisions on a large-scale transfer of the tasks concerning unemployment security from TE Offices to pilot municipalities would be added to the Act.
Nearly 230,000 customers of TE Offices were transferred to local government pilots on employment when they began on 1 March 2021.
“The proposed legislative amendments will clarify certain provisions on the local government pilots. In particular, the amendments would make it easier and quicker to address unemployment security issues and take into account any changes in the customer’s circumstances during the pilot,” says Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen.
Customers could be transferred to TE Office or another pilot municipality
According to the Government proposal, the TE Office could, at the customer’s request, transfer him or her from a local government pilot to the TE Office. The transfer could be carried out if it was necessary to safeguard the client’s linguistic rights, or to avoid a customer relationship that is unsuited for the customer, or for a justified reason related to the customer’s safety. Transfer would be possible if it does not jeopardise the customer’s access to services that meet his or her service needs. The customer could also be transferred to another municipality participating in the pilot, if that municipality agrees to the transfer.
More unemployment security tasks to local government pilots
According to the proposal, the pilot municipality and the TE Office would issue for their customers a labour policy statement on all the labour policy requirements for receiving unemployment benefits that are not subject to consideration or in which there is only little consideration. This is not a completely new task for the pilot municipalities, but instead clarifies the current implementation. From now, a municipality could decide on an unemployment security matter itself, rather than reporting the information to the TE Office for a decision. This will streamline and speed up the decisions on unemployment security.
Other proposed amendments to the Act
The proposal would also clarify the appeal provisions for discretionary reimbursement of expenses. A customer could not appeal against a decision refusing discretionary reimbursement of expenses based on the consideration of the municipality or TE Office. In other respects, the decision could be appealed against by submitting an appeal to the municipality or the TE Office that made the decision. If the municipality or TE Office does not amend its decision in the manner desired by the customer, it will send the appeal to the Social Security Appeal Board. If the customer is not satisfied with the decision of the Social Security Appeal Board, he or she may take the appeal to the Insurance Court.
The proposed Act would also specify provisions on the right of access to customer information systems in order to improve the services of individual customers. An official of a joint municipal authority participating in the pilot could obtain access to the URA customer information system under the same conditions as an official of a municipality.
In addition, access to the customer register of the multisectoral joint services could be granted to others than public officials and to those persons employed by a joint municipal authority responsible for the tasks referred to in the Act on Multisectoral Joint Services Promoting Employment. Access rights to customer systems are always granted in accordance with data protection requirements.
The amendments are scheduled to enter into force on 1 June 2021. However, the provisions on the transfer of unemployment security tasks would not enter into force until 2 October 2021 in order to complete necessary information system changes.
Timo Nevaranta, Special Adviser to the Minister of Employment, tel. +358 50 574 1430
Tanja Ståhlberg, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 025
Meri Pensamo, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 257
Eeva Vartio, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 082 (unemployment security)