Extension to the maximum duration of start-up funding and more flexibility to jobseeker interviews

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 23.4.2020 14.08
Press release

On 23 April 2020, the Government submitted a proposal to Parliament to extend the maximum duration of start-up funding and to increase flexibility in the periodic interviews of jobseekers conducted by TE Offices. The proposal also includes changes to the entitlement of jobseekers to unemployment security. These temporary changes are proposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and are scheduled to enter into force on 1 May 2020.

The maximum duration of start-up funding would be temporarily extended from 12 to 18 months. The change would enable business owners receiving start-up funding to start and establish business operations despite the temporary decline in the business conditions caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The proposed change would be in force until 30 June 2021.

The proposal also includes a change that would prevent a person’s job search from expiring due to a mistake made in the online service when starting the job search. A person’s job search status affects their entitlement to unemployment benefit. The changes concerning interviews and job search status would remain in force until 30 June 2020.

In the future, failure to implement their employment plan would not result in jobseekers losing their entitlement to unemployment benefit. The jobseeker would also be entitled to interrupt participation in an employment-promoting service for a justified reason due to the COVID-19 pandemic without losing their unemployment benefit. These changes would remain in force until 31 July 2020.

The obligation of the TE Office to organise periodic interviews with jobseeker would be temporarily changed. Interviews would only be arranged at the start of the job search with jobseekers with a special need for an interview. The resources of the TE Office and the region’s labour market situation would also be taken into account when assessing the obligation to organise interviews. Any subsequent interviews should be arranged every three months, if possible.

Inquiries:
Kirsi Hyttinen, Senior Specialist, Legal Affairs, tel. +358 295 048 263 (questions from the media regarding start-up funding)
Meri Pensamo, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 047 257 (questions from the media regarding services for jobseekers)
Timo Meling, Senior Specialist, Legal Affairs, tel. +358 295 049 084 (questions from the media regarding unemployment benefit)