The temporary layoffs and redundancies caused by the coronavirus also brought an unprecedented backlog of applications to KOKO fund. The situation has now eased, and the processing times of first applications have been reduced to less than three weeks.
“The situation looks very bright at the moment. Processing times have clearly been reduced, and the number of applications has now finally decreased at KOKO fund. However, it must be borne in mind that the situation is still open for the autumn,” says Fund Director Outi Mäki.
The coronavirus situation has had a strong impact on the membership of KOKO fund. The number of first daily allowance applications received by the Fund started to rise sharply from the beginning of April. The weekly number of applications remained very high until the early weeks of July. The congestion began to show at KOKO as longer-than-normal processing times from the end of May.
The number of applications is almost four times higher than in the previous year
In total, KOKO fund has received more than 28,000 first applications since the beginning of April, while in the whole of 2019 the Fund received 7,500 first applications. The number is almost fourfold. 80% of applications have been related to lay-off situations.
“The coronavirus has treated the membership of different unemployment funds in slightly different ways, and in our case the exceptional situation continued for a relatively long time. For this reason, shortening of the application queues has also taken its time,” Mäki says.
Prepayment enabled during the summer
To facilitate the extended waiting times for customers, KOKO fund introduced a prepayment equal to the basic daily allowance in June. Under certain conditions, the prepayment was paid to members of the Fund who applied for earnings-related allowance until the application for earnings-related allowance had been processed.
“In addition, we have recruited helping hands and taken many other measures to be able to handle the exceptional situation in the best possible way. Our personnel have stretched to tremendous performance,” Mäki says.
The processing situation of follow-up applications has remained good at KOKO at all times. Follow-up applications have been processed on average in four days during the coronavirus period.
“We are still working hard to reduce the processing times of first applications to the level we are used to seeing them, i.e. a couple of weeks. We warmly thank our customers for their patience and understanding.”