You can join an unemployment fund directly as an individual member or through a professional organisation. The Unemployment Fund for Higher Educated Employees Erko has about 91 000 members at the moment. Most memberships are through professional organisations. Erko has about 6 000 individual members.

According to Erko’s rules, you can become a member if you are a wage earner, you have not turned 68 years old and you have a higher education degree or other corresponding specialized degree or you are studying to receive such a degree.  

Please contact your professional organisation directly if you would like to join Erko through your field’s professional organisation. Professional organisations can offer you wage advocacy and consultation regarding specific professional problems, among other things. An unemployment fund can only advise you in matters related to unemployment and job alternation leave. You can find instructions about how to join online on the professional organisations’ pages. Inform the organisation that you want to join the Unemployment Fund for Higher Educated Employees Erko as you join the organisation.

If you would like to join Erko as an individual member, you can fill in the electronic membership application form or you can print, fill out and send the membership application in pdf form to the address Erko, Asemamiehenkatu 2, 00520 Helsinki. Please attach the following to your application:

  • a copy of your degree certificate or transcript of records if you have not graduated yet
  • a copy of your current pay slip or employment contract or corresponding document.

Membership fee

If you belong to Erko through a professional organisation, the organisation will collect your unemployment fund membership fee through your union membership fee. If you become unemployed or are on job alternation leave, contact your professional organisation to get information about how your membership fee is determined in these situations. 

If you are Erko’s individual member you will receive a bill regarding your membership fee in January or February. In 2024 the membership fee is 68,50 euros a year (70,00 euros in 2023). If you join or resign mid-year, the membership fee will be calculated based on the number of months you are a member. If you join or resign in the middle of the month, the membership fee is paid for the entire month.

An example of the membership fee for an incomplete year
You join Erko starting 15.3.2024. You must pay the membership fee for 10 months in the year 2024 (March-December):

Yearly fee 68,50 € / 12 months x 10 months = 57,10 € March-December 2024

Remember to take care of your membership fee also while unemployed and while on job alternation leave! If you do not pay the membership fee, your membership with the fund will be terminated from the day your membership fee has been left unpaid.