The Parliament has approved amendments to the Unemployment Security Act to repeal the activation model on 11 December 2019. This means that the activity of the recipients of unemployment allowance will no longer be monitored and the daily allowance will not be cut after 31 December 2019.
However, the activation model will still affect the daily allowances accrued in 2019, even though their payment date is in 2020.
Activation model in a nutshell
A new law became effective on 1.1.2018. The law will require an applicant of earnings-related allowance to indicate activity during their unemployment. If an applicant has not been active by the means defined in the law, the amount of their daily allowance will be decreased by 4,65%.
In the activation model an unemployment fund monitors the activity of an applicant’s job search in periods of 65 payable days of earnings-related allowance. This means that your fund checks whether you have been active in the way defined by the law every time you have received daily allowance for 65 days. If the applicant has not been active in the way defined by the law, the allowance will be 4,65 % lower for the next 65 payable days.
During the 65 payment day period, you meet one of the following conditions to qualify for sufficient activeness:
- Work in an employment relationship for at least 18 hours (in the teaching branch 8 hours) (pay according to the collective labour agreement, or at least €1,211 per month, or €7.04 per hour).
- You earn at least 245,64€ as an entrepreneur. Monthly earnings, minus deductible expenditures, are counted as income.
- Participating for five days in services that promote employment, which are:
independent study on the unemployment benefit, independent study for immigrants, labour market training, job search training and career training, work try-out, study trial and rehabilitating work activities.
- Participating for five days in other activities organised by the Employment Authority to support your employment, or in other activities organised by the Employment Authority, which improve employment conditions.
- Participating for five days in other employment-promoting activities at the workplace, or other such employment-promoting activities, for example in recruitment training, during which you receive daily allowance.
- Studying part-time for at least five days. Please note: The same studies may only be considered as Activity for a maximum period of six months.
- You are studying for at least 5 days and you receive a daily allowance based your short-term studies.
The hours of the above-mentioned means of demonstrating activity cannot be combined. This means that the activity goal must be reached by either working or participating in activities that promote employment, not both. Also services that promote employment may not be included or counted together with other measures to support employment.
Sending job applications or participating classes that you consider as services promoting employment is not enough to fulfill the definition of being active.
The TE services is responsible for the actions supporting employment. For inquiries related to job opportunities and services promoting employment, please contact TE services: http://www.te-palvelut.fi/te/en/index.html.
In the section “studies, courses and services,” report any ancillary or short-term studies, courses, other services, or recruitment supporting activities you have initiated during the review period. Enter the information about the name, duration and organizer of the service or studies. It is not necessary to report any activities that support ancillary or short-term studies, courses, other services or recruitment in the daily statements.
If you have started a TE service during the review period (labour training, self-study, job search or career coaching, work practice and rehabilitation work activities), please report your participation in the daily statements.
Changes to the activation model from 1.4.2019
The regulation changes concerning the activation model increase the ways in which the activity requirement for receiving unemployment benefit can be fulfilled. Beginning from 1.4.2019, in the context of other workplace or employment related activities (paragraph 5 above), the following will be accepted:
- recruitment training,
- activities supporting employment organised, separately of cooperatively, by a trade union, a trade association, a municipality, a municipal group, the Finnish National Organization of the Unemployed, and other registered associations or similar organisations, which receive public funding
- training and coaching, which is required by the law, for the employer to provide to employees being terminated.
Activities which count towards the Activity requirement must promote employment, and a certificate of the activity must be submitted to the Unemployment Fund.
Although the activation model changes come into force on 1.4.2019, these new ways of fulfilling the activity requirement may not immediately included in the activity calculation. You may only begin to fulfil the activity requirement with, e.g. the service of a trade union, after a new 65 day review period begins on or after 1.4.2019.
The 65-day period
All the days which earnings-related allowance is paid for are counted in the 65-day monitoring period. The period of review does not run during the deductible period, a period of financial benefits, or a quarantine period set by the TE office, in which cases the daily allowance is not paid.
The allowance will decrease by a maximum of 4,65 %. Each paid day accumulates one day of the monitoring period counter.
In the model, the applicants who are receiving earnings-related allowance for additional allowance days are also required to indicate activity.
Activity is not required if:
• you are receiving daily allowance for a lay-off period of under 65 days
• you have a pending application for disability pension
• you work as a caregiver
• you receive a social benefit based on disability or an injury
The daily allowance is paid without deduction when no activity is required.
The monitoring period of 65 days is reset and the daily allowance will be paid without deduction:
• when you have been employed in a full-time job for a consecutive period of more than two weeks
• when you have employed yourself as an entrepreneur or in an equivalent way consecutively for more than two weeks
• if your earnings-related daily allowance is rejected because you have exceeded the 80-per cent limit in working hours
• if your earnings-related daily allowance has been rejected based on your income
• if you have been issued a qualification period or an obligation to work
• if you have re-fulfilled your employment condition
• when your full-time study, for which you have not received daily allowance, has lasted for a period of at least 5 days
The activation model for temporarily laid off applicants
If you have been laid off by reducing your daily working hours
(meaning that you are working part of the day and laid off for the rest of the day and you are paid adjusted allowance)
Activity of a person laid off on a shorter working day is monitored.
If you have been entirely laid off or by reducing your weekly working hours
(meaning that the layoff covers entire days and you receive full daily allowance)
The activity requirements of the activation model are not applied to continuous layoff periods under 65 days. For you as a laid-off person, this means that your activity is only monitored if you have already received daily allowance continuously for 64 payable days. The days for which you have been paid allowance are counted in the 64 days.
If your layoff is not continuous, meaning you work for the employer who laid you off from time to time, the 64 days will always start over when you return as an applicant of daily allowance. For example, if you are working every other week and laid off every other, counting the 64 days will start over after each working week. The activation model is not applied until you have received allowance for a continuous 64 payable days without interruptions.
In case your continuous layoff gets prolonged and the activity model is applied to you: you cannot fulfill the activity requirements by working individual entire days for your own employer (where you were laid off from), because no allowance is paid for those days.