Terms and duration
When can I claim earnings-related allowance?
You can claim earnings-related allowance from an unemployment fund if:
- You are wholly or partly unemployed (e.g. in part-time work or laid-off)
- You are seeking full-time employment and have registered as an unemployed job-seeker with the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office)
- You are a member of an unemployment fund
- You have been in work for 26 weeks (approx. 6 months) while being a member of an unemployment fund. Note: Due to a temporary change in legislation, you can receive earning-related allowance after working for 13 weeks (3 months), while being a member in an unemployment fund.
If you become unemployed or have your working hours reduced, you should immediately register as an unemployed job-seeker via the TE Office’s online service. You will be registered immediately. It is not, however, possible to have this registration applied retrospectively to, for example, the previous day. Earnings-related allowance may be paid only for the period in which the registration is valid.
If you are not a member of an unemployment fund or have been employed for a long enough time, you should apply for unemployment support from Kela.
Six months’ work is enough
In order to claim earnings-related allowance you must have been in work for 26 weeks. In other words, you must have been in work for a minimum of 6 months in order to receive the earnings-related allowance.
Here, a working week refers to any calendar week in which you have done at least 18 hours of work. The wages received must also be in line with the collective agreement. If the employment sector you work in does not have a collective agreement in place, your pay for full-time work must have been at least EUR 1,236 per month.
The work you have done does not need to have been completed in a single period. Working weeks from the previous 2 years and 4 months may be included in the calculations. For example, if you have been studying, sick, in the army, in civilian service, on job alternation leave, on a scholarship period, or been the primary carer of a child aged 3 years or younger, such periods will extend the period considered. The maximum time period that can be included in the calculations consists of working weeks from the previous 9 years and 4 months.
You may forfeit your rights to received earnings-related allowance (temporarily or permanently) if you do not maintain your status as a job-seeker with the TE Office or comply with their instructions. This means, for example, keeping your employment plan up-to-date, attending any necessary appointments and meetings, and participating in the various services arranged by the TE Office. For more information on your obligations relating to the TE Office, please visit the TE Office’s online service.
If you are out of the labour market (i.e. you are not employed or registered as a job-seeker with the TE office) for more than six months without an acceptable reason, the requirement relating to 26 working weeks mentioned above will expire. This means that you can only receive the daily allowance once you have been in work again for a period of 26 weeks. Acceptable causes include, for example, studies, military service, civil service, illness, or caring for a child under 3 years old.
80% work is part-time work
You may also be eligible to receive earnings-related allowance for a part-time job, a gig job, or while being laid-off. A job is considered to be part-time work if, for example, you do four days of work a week. More information about what to do if you are partially employed is available here.
Students receive daily allowance after graduating
If you are studying, for example, at a vocational college or university, you are only eligible to receive an earnings-related allowance after your graduation. As soon as you become unemployment, register as a job-seeker via the TE Office’s online service. More information about this is available here.
Business activity may affect your right to a daily allowance
If you have a business, the TE Office will investigate how extensive your business activities are and decide whether they are sufficient enough to prevent the payment of the earnings-related allowance. Small-scale or so-called ancillary business activity does not prevent payment of a daily allowance. For example, ancillary business activity can be demonstrated through it having been done alongside a full-time job for at least 6 months. More information about this is available here.
Calculate your earnings-related daily allowance
How long will the earnings-related allowance be paid?
In most cases, earnings-related allowance is payable for a maximum of 300 or 400 days. In order for the maximum 400 day payment to be applied, you must have been employed for at least 3 years before registering as unemployed. If you are at least 58 years old and have been in work for 5 years out of the previous 20 years, you are eligible to receive a maximum of 500 days daily allowance.
|Work history (and age)||Maximum duration|
|You have been employed for a total of less than 3 years||300 days (approx. 14 months)|
|You have been employed for a total of more than 3 years||400 days (approx. 18 months)|
|You are 58 years old and you have 5 years of work history in the last 20 years||500 days (approx. 23 months)|
If you do piece-meal (gig) or part-time work, the maximum duration is reduced more slowly. You can also reset the maximum daily allowance duration by being employed. If you do 26 weeks’ work, with at least 18 hours of work per week, the maximum duration may be reset.
If you remain unemployed for more than the maximum duration, you can claim unemployment benefits from Kela. More information on unemployment benefits is available on Kela’s website.
Please note: Earnings-related allowance days paid between July 1st and December 31st are not counted in the maximum payment period. Allowance days paid during a temporary lay-off between March 16th and June 30th are also not counted, if the lay-off has begun on March 16th or later.
Extra days for the elderly
Earnings-related allowance may continue to be paid after the maximum payment period until the age of 65 in so-called additional days if:
- You were born between 1955 and 1956 and your 60th birthday came before the end of the maximum payment period OR
- You were born between 1957 and 1960 and your 61st birthday came before the end of the maximum payment period OR
- You were born in or after 1961, and your 62nd birthday comes before the end of the maximum payment period.
You are also required to have worked for at least 5 years in the last 20 years and the right to the daily allowance has been received as a salaried employee.
Early retirement pension
If you wish to take early retirement, you can transfer from the additional days system to an old-age pension at the age of 62, without an abatement of early retirement if:
- You were born between 1950 and 1957 AND
- You have reached the age of 62 AND
- You have claimed additional earnings-related allowance or basic unemployment allowance for at least one day during the month before your pension begins.