Working in a Nordic country

You must take out unemployment insurance in the country in which you perform the work. It is not relevant whether you are resident in the country in which you work.

Insurance systems in the Nordic countries

Sweden and Denmark have a system of unemployment funds similar to the one in Finland. Work done in these countries can count towards your employment condition as regards earnings-related daily allowance if you were a member of an unemployment fund in the country in question.

Note that Alfa-kassa in Sweden has a dual role. Alfa-kassa is in itself a normal unemployment fund that you must join as directed. However, Alfa-kassa also pays out unemployment benefit to persons who are not members of any unemployment fund, and in this respect Alfa-kassa is the equivalent of Kela in Finland. If you do not join the Alfa-kassa unemployment fund or any other unemployment fund, the work you do will not count towards your employment condition regarding earnings-related daily allowance in Finland.

Unemployment funds in Sweden: Arbetslöshetskassornas samorganisation 

Unemployment funds in Denmark: Danske A-kasser 

In Iceland and Norway, you have unemployment coverage on the basis of employment. In these countries, you do not need to join an unemployment fund for your work to be credited towards the employment condition regarding your earnings-related daily allowance. However, check with the local authorities to find out about requirements for unemployment security before starting work in that country.

Crediting work done in a Nordic country to the employment condition in Finland

You may join KOKO-kassa when your employment in another Nordic country ends even if you are unemployed, provided you join within 1 month of the expiry of your unemployment insurance in that country (for Nordic remigrants, the period is 8 weeks). In Sweden and Denmark, unemployment insurance expires when membership of the local unemployment fund ends. In Iceland and Norway, unemployment insurance expires when the related employment is terminated.

Work done in the Nordic countries cannot be counted towards the employment condition in Finland until the KOKO fund has received your U1 form. Your application cannot be processed before your form is received. Remember that you must apply for daily allowance within 3 months.

Also, for the work abroad to be taken into account in your employment condition, you must have been employed in Finland after your return for at least 4 calendar weeks meeting the employment condition. This is not required if you have been resident in Finland while working in another country.

Nordic remigrant

You are a Nordic remigrant if you have been living in another Nordic country and been employed or paid a basic daily allowance or earnings-related daily allowance in Finland at any time during the past 5 years. Two special rules are applied to remigrants compared to other persons returning to Finland from the EU area.

  1. A remigrant may join KOKO-kassa when unemployed within 8 weeks of the expiry of unemployment insurance in the previous country of employment (cf. 1 month when relocating to Finland from another EU area country).
  2. Remigrants do not need to be employed in Finland for 4 weeks for work done in another Nordic country to be credited to their employment condition in Finland. A remigrant’s daily allowance is calculated on the basis of wages most recently paid to the remigrant in Finland.