The unemployment fund is responsible for paying a daily allowance based on earned income to its members during periods of unemployment. The right to a daily allowance has been defined in the Unemployment Security Act.
The grounds for social security coverage and the right to a daily allowance of a member with a foreign background is checked if you become unemployed and apply for a daily allowance. You may be entitled to a daily allowance if you have other circumstances besides employment that indicate that you live in Finland (residence, family). Please contact the union to confirm your situation.
Unemployment benefits in a nutshell
You can claim an earnings-related allowance from the employment fund if
- you are unemployed in part or in full;
- you are seeking full-time work and have registered as an unemployed job seeker with the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office);
- you are a member of the unemployment fund;
- you have met the employment condition during your period of fund membership; and
- you are aged between 17 and 64 (or if you have been temporarily laid off, between 17 and 67).
Unemployment fund membership begins from the date of receipt of the membership application. You can become a member only while employed. The unemployment fund may only pay benefits to members who meet the membership and employment conditions. Membership fees must have been paid prior to unemployment.
The membership must have continued for at least the 26 weeks preceding the period of unemployment.
A previous membership of another unemployment fund is included in the period of membership if the change of funds has taken place within a month of the end of the membership in the previous unemployment fund.
To claim an allowance, you must have met the employment condition. It is met when you have been in paid employment for at least 26 calendar weeks, with at least 18 working hours per calendar week, during the period of membership. The employment does not have to be continuous. The employment condition may be accumulated over the 28 months preceding unemployment. The pay earned must be in line with a collective agreement. If there is no collective agreement for the sector, the full-time rate must be at least EUR 1,187 per month in 2017.
Monitoring your time in employment
For the purpose of monitoring the fulfilment of the employment condition, you must inform the unemployment fund of periods when you do not claim your allowance (such as employment lasting for more than two weeks and any sickness periods). The fund will be unable to pay the allowance if any periods remain unaccounted for.
It is important to ask your employer for a pay certificate and references as soon as your employment ends. The unemployment fund may require records going back over a fairly long period of time, in order to ensure that you have complied with the employment condition.
The duration of the allowance depends on the length of your employment history and your age (300, 400 or 500 days). The allowance is paid for 5 days a week. After the maximum payment period, you can apply for a labour market subsidy from Kela.
You can reset the paid allowance days by meeting the employment condition again. Each time the employment condition of 26 calendar weeks is met, the maximum period will restart from the beginning.
Learn more about unemployment benefits in English at http://www.tyj.fi/eng/home/.
Guide to Unemployment Fund Benefits is available at http://www.tyj.fi/fin/lomakkeet_ja_opas/etuusopas/
How to claim a daily allowance
- Register as a job seeker with the TE Office immediately after becoming unemployed (http://www.te-palvelut.fi/te/fi/). An allowance can only be paid for the period during which the job search is valid. Please remember to keep your job search valid and respond to the employment offers from the TE Office.
- Make sure that you have paid all your membership fees prior to unemployment. Only a member can claim a daily allowance.
- The allowance is claimed through the eAsiointi electronic service portal on the fund’s website (https://rakennuskassa.fi/palvelut/easiointi/) or by using a paper application form. The necessary attachments may also be submitted via the electronic service portal.
- Paper application forms are available at the regional offices of the union and the fund’s website under “Forms” (https://rakennuskassa.fi/ansioturva-ja-lomakkeet-2/lomakkeet/). A follow-up application form is always sent with the payment notice.
- Claims for the allowance are made retroactively in periods of four calendar weeks (Monday to Sunday) or one month. The first claim can be for a shorter period of two calendar weeks.
- If you have been laid off, in particular, it is worth noting that the seven personal liability days must be during eight consecutive calendar weeks.
- Please note that the allowance must be claimed within three (3) months of the date from which it is to be paid.
Enclose with the claim:
- A pay certificate from the employer for at least 26 paid work weeks prior to unemployment (including details of holiday pay and compensation, as well as other special compensation). The pay certificate must also specify any unpaid periods and the reasons for them.
- A copy of the notice of termination and employment certificate if you are full-time unemployed
- A copy of the notice of lay-off and employment contract if you have been laid off
- The decision if you claim a pension, maternity, paternity or parental allowance or child home care allowance (including those claimed by your spouse). Also report any benefits you are claiming from abroad.
- Tax card if you have applied for a revised tax card for a benefit
- A pay certificate if you are in part-time employment or laid off, or an income declaration if you are part-time self-employed
- The employment contract if you start in part-time employment
- The latest tax decision if you have had income from agriculture/forestry or part-time self-employment
If you work while you are unemployed:
- If you work part-time or occasionally, please enclose a pay certificate and employment contract.