|Please note! Amendments have been made to the Unemployment Security Act. Due to these amendments, the information on this page regarding the accumulation and length of the employment requirement will change from 2.9.2024 onwards. In addition, there is a pending amendment that, if passed, would result in pay-subsidised work no longer accumulating the employment requirement. There is also a pending amendment regarding the termination of age-related exceptions in the Unemployment Security Act, which may affect how the employment requirement is accumulated.
Unemployment funds pay their members earnings-related daily allowance according to the conditions set by the law. If there are no other obstacles for payment, receiving earnings-related daily allowance requires that:
- you have been a member of an unemployment fund for at least 26 calendar weeks before your unemployment
- you are an unemployed job seeker with the TE Office and the TE Office has given the Fund a statement that there are no obstacles for payment
- you have fulfilled the employment requirement during your membership with an unemployment fund.
Earnings-related daily allowance is generally paid to people who are unemployed and 18-64 years old. However, during layoffs benefits can be paid until the end of the month during which the person turns 68 years old.
The employment requirement and membership requirement
Members that have been insured through an unemployment fund for at least 26 calendar weeks before unemployment (=membership requirement) and that fulfill the employment requirement during their membership period are eligible for earnings-related daily allowance. The employment requirement is 26 calendar weeks long and the fulfillment of the employment requirement is generally examined during the last 28 months preceding unemployment.
|From 2.9.2024 onwards the employment requirement and membership requirement will be 12 months, so roughly 52 weeks. We will update this page with more information about the amendments in the near future.
If you do not fulfill the necessary employment requirement or membership requirement to receive earnings-related daily allowance, you can apply for basic unemployment allowance or labor market subsidy from Kela.
Accumulating the employment requirement and the review period
You accumulate the employment requirement when you are a member of an unemployment fund and work at least 18 hours a week in an employment relationship at a job where the pay is based on a collective labor agreement and the statutory social insurance contributions, pension contributions, unemployment insurance contributions, and taxes are deducted. If the industry does not have a collective labor agreement, then the pay for a full-time employee must be at least 1 399 euros a month in 2024 (1 331 euros a month in 2023).
If teaching in an educational institution, calendar weeks during which you have worked at least half the hours of the lowest weekly teaching requirement for full-time teachers in that field accumulate the employment requirement. For example, in primary and lower secondary schools and high schools you can accumulate the employment requirement with 8 teaching hours a week. If there is no full-time teaching requirement from which to calculate the number of hours needed to accumulate the employment requirement, 8 teaching hours a week will accumulate the employment requirement.
You can also accumulate the employment requirement during your paid annual holiday if your pay during your annual holiday is based on at least 18 working hours per week (8 hours per week if teaching).
|From 2.9.2024 onwards the employment requirement will be accumulated based on your wage income. We will update this page with more information about the amendments in the near future.
The fulfillment of the employment requirement is examined during the last 28 months before your unemployment began. This 28-month so-called review period can be extended for up to 7 years with an acceptable reason stated in the Unemployment Security Act. However, the extension is not possible for time during which you have not been a member of an unemployment fund. Work you have done while studying accumulates the employment requirement if you have been a member of an unemployment fund during your work and studies.
Acceptable reasons to be absent from the labor market and extend the 28-month review period are full-time studies, sick leave, hospital care, rehabilitation, mandatory military service, mandatory non-military (civil) service, a sentence of imprisonment, job alternation leave, grant periods and caring for a child 3 years old or younger.
The review period of a person currently active in the labor market can be extended if the work cannot be taken into account in the employment requirement due to restrictions stated in the Unemployment Security Act (such as time during which you have been paid partial sickness allowance or your pay has been reduced due to sickness) or time during which you have participated in an employment-promoting service agreed upon with the TE Office.
Validity of the employment requirement
Once you have accumulated the employment requirement it is valid for the number of days in your maximum payment period (300/400/500 payment days) or until you fulfill the 26-calendar week employment requirement again. However, if you are absent from the labor market for more than 6 months without an acceptable reason, then you lose the right to earnings-related daily allowance until you fulfill the employment requirement again in its entirety after your absence from the labor market. For instance, job seeking without registering with the TE Office is not considered participation in the labor market according to the Unemployment Security Act. An unemployed person is part of the labor market when they are registered with the TE Office as an unemployed job seeker looking for a full-time job.
You can also lose the employment requirement you have already accumulated by being a full-time entrepreneur for more than 18 months.
The 7-day waiting period
After you have fulfilled the employment requirement and the amount of your earnings-related daily allowance has been calculated, you can be paid earnings-related daily allowance only after the waiting period. The waiting period is equivalent to 7 full weekdays of unemployment, and it must be accumulated within 8 consecutive calendar weeks. If you work part-time during your waiting period, the waiting period will be longer than 7 weekdays because only unemployed time accumulates the waiting period. This means that part-time work slows down the accumulation of the waiting period. You must be registered as an unemployed job seeker with the TE Office to accumulate the waiting period.
The waiting period has changed due to new legislation that came into effect on 1.1.2024. Earlier the waiting period was 5 weekdays. Now the waiting period is 7 weekdays if the waiting period starts on or after 1.1.2024.
The waiting period cannot be accumulated during possible suspension periods, the periodisation of financial benefits from your employer or the periodisation of holiday compensation or, if working part-time, when the working time calculated based on your pay during your application period is over 80 % of the working time of a full-time employee in your field.
Periodisation of holiday compensation
If you have unused paid annual holiday days when your full-time employment relationship ends, the paid holiday compensation will delay the payment of your earnings-related daily allowance for as many days as the paid holiday compensation is equivalent to your daily pay. For example, if your holiday compensation is equal to one month’s salary, then the paid holiday compensation will delay the start of your earnings-related benefits by about one month.
Holiday compensation will be subject to periodisation if it is paid from full-time work lasting over 2 weeks and the employment relationship ends on or after 1.1.2024. If you are paid both a financial benefit and holiday compensation when your employment relationship ends, then the total of both sums will be subject to periodisation based on the wages from your last employment relationship.
The periodisation of holiday compensation is not possible during the waiting period. This means that the waiting period can begin only after the periodisation of possible holiday compensation.
Holiday compensation from part-time work or full-time work lasting for at most 2 weeks will not be subject to periodisation.
Periodisation of financial benefits paid by your employer
Financial benefits paid by your employer based on an agreement between the employee and employer to end the employment relationship (or other equivalent arrangements) will delay the payment of earnings-related daily allowance. These financial benefits may be called a severance package, dismissal pay or golden parachute. Unemployment benefits cannot be granted and the waiting period cannot be set during the periodisation of financial benefits, which begins from the end of your employment relationship.
The pay used to calculate the length of your periodisation is calculated based on the pay from your last employment relationship. The length of the periodisation is dependent on how many days pay the financial benefit is equivalent to.
Beginning 1.1.2024, if you are paid both a financial benefit and holiday compensation, then the total of both sums will be subject to periodisation.
Remember to keep your status as an unemployed job seeker active during your periodisation! You are considered part of the labor market when your job seeker status is active. If your status as an unemployed job seeker is inactive for more than 6 months without an acceptable reason for absence specified in the Unemployment Security Act, then you may lose the employment requirement you have already accumulated.