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Independent job seeking to become a requirement for unemployment benefit, fewer other obligations

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
28.6.2018 9.09
Press release

The Government is preparing amendments to the sanctions of the unemployment security system. They would mean that independent job seeking would be a condition for unemployment benefit. At the same time, there would be fewer other obligations on unemployed jobseekers.

The amendments aim to safeguard equal access to unemployment benefits once the regional government and growth services reform is implemented. They would also would improve the matching of employers and employees on the labour market. The objective is that it would be easier for jobseekers to find work and for employers to recruit skilled workforce.

“Jobseekers could focus on what is essential, which is finding employment. They could decide themselves which suitable jobs to apply for and when,” Minister of Employment Jari Lindström says.

The required number of applications for prospective jobs would be defined in each jobseeker’s employment plan. Jobseekers would need to apply for at least four prospective jobs within a month. The extent of the job-seeking obligation would depend on the jobseekers’ ability to apply for and find employment, the jobseeker’s potential occupational immunity period and the labour market situation in the region. Jobseekers who need help would be referred to appropriate services.

“The new model is built on trust and fairness: Those who need support will get it. Monitoring would be based on information reported by jobseekers, and sanctions would be more lenient,” Minister Lindström says.

A graded sanctions system: first a reminder

Jobseekers would register once a month their progress with regard to their independent job seeking either in an online service or in some other way based on agreement. A jobseeker, who fails to seek employment in the manner specified in his or her employment plan, would be reminded of the conditions for receiving unemployment benefit. Should the same employee continue to neglect his or her job-seeking obligation, a qualifying period for benefit or an employment obligation would be imposed on him or her in a graded way.

The Government proposes to repeal the sanctions for the following reasons: failure to apply for a job offered by the employment services, refusal to participate in the preparation of an employment plan, failure to implement one’s employment plan, refusal to participate in an employment-promoting service, and discontinuing one’s participation in an employment-promoting service.

The Government will begin a consultation round on the government proposal on independent job seeking in the last week of June. The aim is to submit the government proposal to Parliament during the autumn session 2018. The Government will decide later when the amendments would enter into force.

The request for an opinion will be published online at

Juha Halttunen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Employment, tel. +358 50 574 0236
Timo Meling, Senior Specialist, Legal Affairs, tel. +358 29 50 49084

Jari Lindström
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