Conditions regarding membership and employment

If you are an employee, you must have been employed for 26 calendar weeks to meet the condition regarding previous employment. That means that you must have been employed for about six months in order to meet the condition regarding previous employment. Each week you have worked for at least 18 hours and have been paid in accordance with your sector’s collective agreement meets the condition regarding previous employment. If your sector does not have a collective agreement, your pay for full-time work must have been at least 1,187 euros per month.

Your employment need not be continuous, but the condition regarding previous employment must be met during the review period, which covers 28 months immediately before your registration as an unemployed job seeker.

You can only claim earnings-related allowance if you meet the condition regarding previous employment while you are a member of an unemployment fund, meaning that you must have been a member for a minimum of 26 weeks to qualify for the allowance.

If you are 60 years old and take part in an employment promotion measure on the basis of employment obligation, the employment promotion measure can be included in the condition regarding previous employment. For more information on the employment obligation, contact any TE Office. You can also call the national helpline.


Extending the review period for the condition regarding previous employment

The 28-month review period may be extended if you have an acceptable reason for not having been available for work. The review period can be extended by a maximum of seven years.

As a rule, acceptable reasons for the extension include:

  • participation in an employment promotion measure requested by the TE Office;
  • illness;
  • time during which you have claimed partial sickness allowance;
  • institutional care;
  • rehabilitation;
  • military service;
  • non-military service;
  • full-time studies;
  • job alternation leave;
  • birth of child;
  • care of child under the age of three;
  • informal care or family care, unless considered minor in nature;
  • partial disability pension or part-time pension, if employment amounts to less than 18 hours per week;
  • imprisonment;
  • wage subsidy period which does not meet the condition regarding previous employment;
  • period of claiming combined support which does not meet the condition regarding previous employment;
  • full-time employment which does not meet the condition regarding previous employment: working for the UN or its agencies or other international organisations in whose operations Finland is taking part
  • grant periods: if the duration of the grant period is not indicated in the grant decision, the duration is calculated by dividing the total grant with the amount of grant per month (excluding taxes) in the year the grant was issued; or
  • some other comparable reason.


Wage subsidy periods

If wage subsidy is paid during your employment, only 75 % of the employment period is included in the condition regarding previous employment. This means, that in order to fulfill the condition regarding previous employment during a wage subsidy period, you must work at least 35 weeks.

If the wage subsidy is paid on the basis of employment obligation, the entire employment period is included in the condition regarding previous employment.


Meeting the employment condition

You no longer meet the condition regarding previous employment if you withdraw yourself from the labour market for more than six months without an acceptable reason, or if you become a full-time self-employed person for more than 18 months while being a member of an unemployment fund for employees. The unemployment fund cannot pay you any benefits until you have once again met the condition regarding previous employment.


Exceptions to the employment condition

Sectors with exceptional working hours
Sectors with different arrangements for working hours have their own regulations on the weekly working hours provision. Such sectors include teaching, housekeeping under an employment contract, and artistic, creative and public performance work.

If you teach, your working hours must be at least half of the lowest number of weekly working hours of a full-time teacher for your sector, if full-time teachers are employed in the sector. If there are no full-time teachers in the sector, your working hours must amount to at least eight hours per week.

If your employment has been agreed for less than one month and you are mainly engaged in creative or performing work, you can meet the condition regarding previous employment for each calendar week in which your taxable income from this job is at least 1,187 euros during a review period of one month.

Partial pension and partial disability pension
If you become unemployed while claiming a partial pension or partial disability pension and you met the condition regarding previous employment before you started to claim pension, your earnings-related allowance will be calculated on the basis of your income before your pension.

Partial sickness allowance or reduced pay during sickness
Periods when you claim partial sickness allowance or reduced pay during sickness, on the basis of your collective agreement or collective agreement for public servants, do not meet the condition regarding previous employment. However, such periods extend the review period for the condition regarding previous employment.

Working hours bank
Time saved in a working hours bank does not meet the condition regarding previous employment. However, the time taken as leave on the basis of your hours saved in the working hours bank, during which you have received normal pay, meets the condition regarding previous employment.

Labour market training and self-motivated study
Your earnings-related allowance is not recalculated during labour market training or self-motivated study. The maximum payment period for earnings-related allowance is reset after you have completed the training or studies.


Monitoring your time in employment

For the purpose of monitoring the condition regarding previous employment, 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 allowance if there are unaccountable periods.

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 condition regarding previous employment.

Sivu päivitetty viimeksi 20.01.2017

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