The layoffs resulting from the corona virus and other effects of the coronavirus on employment and unemployment funds have been popular topics in recent days. In this article we gathered answers to the most common questions our customers have asked us. We will supplement and add information as necessary.
The KOKO fund has comprehensive contingency plans for the rapid growth of both the coronavirus and application volumes. Our customer service team helps by phone and online as usual, and our processing situation is currently good. However, we expect the number of applications to increase rapidly, which may affect processing times.
For the time being, our customer service points at the office are closed in order to prevent the proliferation of the corona virus.
On 20 March, the Finnish Government announced that legislative changes to unemployment security proposed by labour market organisations will be implemented. The changes will affect the employment condition, the maximum period of allowance and the waiting period, among other things. Further information will be published on our website as soon as we know more about the schedule and other details. The changes are not yet in effect. Please note that our telephone service cannot provide more information on the subject at this time.
What should I do if I’m laid off as a result of the coronavirus?
If you are laid off, register as an unemployed jobseeker in the online service of the TE Office on the very first day you are laid off. Your entitlement to earnings-related allowance is determined by the opinion issued by the TE Office. You can apply for earnings-related unemployment allowance in KOKO’s online eService 1 week after the start of your lay-off. The members of the fund can be paid earnings-related allowance during the lay-off period, provided that the membership and employment conditions are met.
Can I get a daily allowance if I haven’t been laid off, but working is prevented?
If the employer does not lay you off, but your work is prevented, register with the TE Office. The TE Office will issue a statement to the unemployment fund as to whether the prevention is a reason comparable to a layoff. You are entitled to earnings-related allowance for the duration of the reason comparable to a layoff.
If you have to stay at home with your child(ren) after the closedown of schools, you cannot receive unemployment allowance, as you are neither unemployed nor laid off.
What do I do if I get sick while unemployed?
If you receive earnings-related unemployment allowance and become ill, you can continue to apply for the daily allowance as usual. A short-term illness does not affect your right to earnings-related allowance.
If the illness lasts for more than 10 days, state in your application for daily allowance that you have been ill and apply for sickness benefit from Kela. Sickness allowance is paid after a waiting period. The waiting period is usually the day of falling ill and the subsequent 9 business days. More information on sickness benefit can be found on Kela’s website.
What should I do if I get sick or quarantined while at work?
In principle, you are paid either a salary or sickness allowance for the period of illness, and sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease for the period of quarantine.
The sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease is paid by Kela and will compensate for loss of earnings if the doctor responsible for infectious diseases has ordered you to stay away from your work, or quarantine or isolation to prevent the spread of the infectious disease. If you do your job remotely and there is no loss of earnings, you cannot receive any daily allowance. You will find more information on sickness allowances on Kela’s website.
I want to make sure my membership in the KOKO unemployment fund is valid. How do I do that?
You can find information about the status of your membership in KOKO’s eService. Log in to the eService here.