Whilst people do not plan to become unemployed, sometimes this happens to them for reasons beyond their control. If you become unemployed and wish to receive unemployment benefit, your should immediately register at the manpower agency as a job-seeker who is looking for a full-time job. If you are not a member of an unemployment fund, the Finnish National Pensions Institute (Kela) will pay a labour market support benefit or a basic daily allowance, if you fulfil the previous employment status requirement.
The unemployed job-seeker must be available for work in order to receive unemployment benefit.
If for no good reason, you refuse to accept work or leave a job which has been offered to you by the manpower agency, you will not, in general, be entitled to any unemployment benefit for a period of two to three months.
Previous employment status requirement
The previous employment status requirement is fulfilled if the employee has been in paid employment for a total of 34 calendar weeks (approximately 8 months) during the 28 months, preceding the start of the period of unemployment, with a minimum of 18 working hours per week, and receiving pay, which is no lower than the level of pay, stipulated in the relevant collective agreement or which is no less than 40 times the amount of the basic daily allowance.
The previous employment status requirement will remain valid once you have gained it, even if you are in paid employment between periods of unemployment. However, you must make sure that you fulfil the previous employment status requirement during the above mentioned assessment period, prior to applying for unemployment benefit for the first time. Your previous employment status may also ”expire”. If you have not been available for work for any acceptable reason for more than six months, you will not be entitled to the daily unemployment benefit, until you fulfil the previous employment status requirement once again.
The assessment period for the previous employment status requirement can be extended to a maximum of seven years subject to an acceptable reason, which may, for example, be full-time study, military service, conscientious objector’s service, illness or taking care of a child not older than three years of age.
The various unemployment benefits consist of the labour market support benefit and the basic daily allowance paid by the Finnish National Pensions Institute (Kela), and of the earnings-related unemployment benefit, which is paid by any one the various unemployment funds to an unemployed member of the fund. There is also an additional child increment available to the unemployment benefit.