Frequently Asked Questions about the Activation Model

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.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from the KOKO fund about the Activation Model. 

General information about the Activation Model can be found here.

Who will monitor my activity?

Your unemployment fund will keep track of whether you meet the activity goals and will make the unemployment allowance payments accordingly. Please notify KOKO of your activities that meet the requirements of the Activation Model when you apply for the unemployment allowance.

The TE Services are responsible for the organisation of the services that seek to promote your employment and they will direct you to these services. If you want to participate in employment-promoting activities and meet the goals of the Activation Model, please contact the TE Services.

How should I notify KOKO of working or the activities taken to promote my employment?

When you submit an unemployment allowance application to KOKO, please include details of working or participation in any activities to promote your employment that are organised or provided by the TE Office. KOKO will check if these meet the activity goals and then will pay the unemployment benefit accordingly.

When will the activity monitoring begin?

The activity monitoring period will begin from the first day for which you are paid unemployment allowance.

What does it mean that the monitoring period consists of 65 payable days?

The activity of a jobseeker receiving earnings-related unemployment allowance is monitored in periods of 65 payable days. This means that after you have been paid unemployment allowance for 65 days, KOKO will check whether you meet the activity goals.

All of the days for which earnings-related unemployment allowance is paid are included in the 65-day period. The calculation does not take into account whether the allowance is paid in full, adjusted due to earned income or decreased by a social benefit. One day of payment adds one day to the monitoring period counter.

If the payment of the unemployment allowance is suspended, for instance because you become ill and receive sickness allowance from Kela instead, the activity monitoring will be suspended for this period of time and will resume once your sickness leave ends. For example: if you are paid sickness allowance by Kela from 1 to 12 March, your activity monitoring period will be suspended and only continues on 13 March, after the sickness leave has ended.

The monitoring period does not run during, for example, the deductible period, a period of financial benefits, or a quarantine period set by the TE Office.

In which situations will the allowance be reduced by 4.65%?

If you have not met the activity goals during the monitoring period of 65 days, the unemployment allowance will be paid to you at a reduced rate for the next 65 payable days. This means that a 4.65 per cent reduction will be made to the full amount of the allowance.

If you are not sufficiently active for the next monitoring period of 65 days, the benefit will continue to be paid at the reduced rate. This means that the previously reduced allowance will not be reduced by another 4.65 per cent.

What kind of work will meet the requirements of the Activation Model?

The work must be paid labour. The pay must comply with the collective labour agreement. If there is no valid collective labour agreement in the sector, the pay must equal €1,211 per month on a full-time basis, or €7.04 per hour when converted into hourly wages. You can check what collective labour agreements stipulate about wages from your own trade union, for example.

The working hours must total at least 18 hours during the monitoring period of 65 payable days. A payable day means a day for which you receive unemployment allowance.

Do the 18 hours of work have to take place in one week?

No, they do not. The work needs to take place during the monitoring period of 65 days. The hours of work can be divided over the 65 payable days in any way, as long as they total at least 18 hours. If the monitoring period is from January to March, you can work, for example, for ten hours in January, five hours in February and three hours in March.

I have received a severance payment at the end of my employment relationship, so I am not yet eligible for an unemployment benefit. Will my activity be monitored?

Because you are not eligible for the unemployment allowance at the moment due to a financial benefit that is spread over a longer period of time, your activity will not be monitored.

The activity monitoring period will begin on the first day of payment of the unemployment benefit. If a waiting period of five days has been imposed after the severance payment package, for example, from 15 March to 21 March 2019, and the first day of payment of the unemployment allowance is 22 March 2019, your activity monitoring period will also begin on 22 March 2019.

I am on extended unemployment allowance. Will my activity be monitored?

Individuals on extended unemployment allowance will belong in the sphere of activity monitoring.

If I want to demonstrate my activity in the form of self-employment, will I need to obtain a business ID?

Not necessarily. You can engage in self-employment activities using an invoicing service company (known as ‘light entrepreneurship’). In a situation like this, the gross earnings paid by the invoicing service will have to total at least €245.64 during the 65 days of monitoring. Deductible expenditures are to be reduced from the income to be invoiced.

If I become self-employed through an invoicing service, will I have to get paid for at least 18 hours of work?

No, you will not. When activity is demonstrated in the form of self-employment, there is no minimum hour requirement.

I have been self-employed for several years, and the TE Service has concluded that my entrepreneurship is part time. Will I have to submit a report of income received through my self-employment activities every month for them to be acknowledged in the activation model?

No, you do not. In the case of part-time self-employment, the income will be taken into account in earnings-related unemployment allowance primarily based on the most recent confirmed tax decision for the individual. This applies both to the adjustment of the benefit based on income from self-employment and the requirements of the activation model. You will be requested to submit your most recent confirmed tax decision every year, and KOKO will check your earnings from self-employment activities from this decision.

What does it mean to engage in independent study that meets the requirements of the Activation Model?

Activity in line with the Activation Model is constituted by independent study for which you have applied and been granted financial support from TE Services.

If you do not have a decision granting an unemployment benefit for your studies, the studies will not be taken into account as activity. For example, if the TE Services regard your studies as part-time studies, they will not accumulate activity.

What kind of study is accepted under the Activation Model?

Part-time and short-term studies accumulate activity for a maximum period of 6 months.

If your full-time study, for which you do not receive a daily allowance, lasts a period of at least 5 days, the activity tracking calculation will restart after the studies are over.

You must report all studies to the TE Office.

What kind of activity does not meet the requirements of the Activation Model?

The following activities (including but not limited to) will not meet the requirements of the Activation Model:

• independent job-seeking
• (unpaid) volunteer work
• courses or activities organised by institutions if the TE Office as not accepted them as services that will promote the employment of the applicant. However, this kind of course may accumulate activeness, in the case of a service organised together with the municipality or a professional organisation, for example.
• enrollment and interviews or visits and contacts in connection to the preparation of an employment plan
• contacts in connection with guidance on searching for a job, training and the rights to unemployment benefits, regardless of the form of the guidance
• examinations and assessments of working capacity.

How do I know if I have met the activity requirement?

After you have been paid daily allowance for a period of 65 days, we will check whether you meet the activity requirement for the activation model.

• If you have fulfilled the activity requirement, your daily allowance payments will continue normally without further notice.

• If you have not met the activity requirement, you will be sent a decision on the earnings-related unemployment allowance.

You can also check the details on your fulfilment of the activity requirement on KOKO’s page, eService: Status information > Activity monitoring. You will see the beginning date of your 65-day monitoring period and the amount of the days you have been paid.

Can education organised by a trade union qualify as Activity?

Services and activities organized by trade unions counts toward your Activity, if your unemployment status review begins on or after 1.4.2019. Please note, however, that, for example, during the deductible period and the accrual of the economic benefit and a quarantine period set by a TE Office, activeness is not tracked and the period of review does not run, so any work or activity carried out during these periods does not accrue activeness. In order for an activity to count towards the Activity requirement, it must promote employment, and a certificate of the activities must be submitted to the Unemployment Fund.