Temporary extensions to unemployment benefit of laid-off employees and entrepreneurs to continue
The Government proposes that the legislative amendments relating to the unemployment benefit of laid-off employees and entrepreneurs, and the activities of Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE Offices) be partly continued. The temporary amendments aim to safeguard the livelihoods of laid-off employees and entrepreneurs and to facilitate the handling of unemployment security matters amid the prolonged coronavirus pandemic.
The Government submitted the proposal to Parliament on 19 November 2020. Some of the temporary amendments, which are set to expire at the end of 2020, would be extended. The government proposal is included in the supplementary budget proposal for 2021.
Laid-off employees can study without losing unemployment security
Laid-off employees have had a temporary right to study full-time without the studies having an effect on their unemployment benefit. The Government proposes that the amendment remain in force until 31 December 2021. The amendment will apply to those laid off on or after 16 March 2020.
The amendment will help laid-off employees, who work and study, to apply for and receive unemployment benefit during the lay-off, because the TE Office does not assess whether the studies are of full-time or part-time nature.
Entrepreneurs to receive labour market support until end of March
Entrepreneurs have been temporarily entitled to labour market support if full-time work in the company has ended due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Government proposes that the provision remain in force until 31 March 2021.
In order to receive labour market support, a person must register as a jobseeker with the TE Office and the TE Office must issue a labour policy statement on their entitlement to labour market support to the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela). Kela has paid labour market support to approximately 42,500 entrepreneurs in April–September 2020.
Flexibility in the tasks of TE Offices helps avoid backlogs
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, TE Offices have been able to organise periodic interviews with jobseekers more flexibly than usual. Interviews have only been arranged at the start of the job search with jobseekers with a special need for an interview. The Government proposes that the amendment remain in force until 31 January 2021.
In addition, the provision under which unemployed jobseekers will not lose their right to unemployment benefit due to the failure to implement the employment plan will be extended until 31 January 2021.
Eeva Vartio, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 082
Meri Pensamo, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 257 (questions on organising interviews with jobseekers)
Press release 31 March 2020: Legislative amendment extends employees’ right to unemployment benefit during lay-off and provides easier and quicker access to unemployment benefit
Press release 2 April 2020: Entrepreneurs entitled to unemployment security due to coronavirus epidemic
Press release 23 April 2020: Extension to the maximum duration of start-up funding and more flexibility to jobseeker interviews
Press release 23 June 2020: Measures that have brought security and flexibility to labour markets during coronavirus epidemic will be extended
Questions and answers regarding the coronavirus and labour market support for entrepreneurs and self-employed persons