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The proposal includes an extension from 5 to 7 days of the so-called waiting period before entitlement to an earnings-related allowance can begin. Only weekdays from Monday to Friday will count towards the waiting period. This change would be applicable if the first day of the waiting period would be in 2017. The change has a particularly strong effect on our members laid off for short periods during the term or school year, because it will be more difficult to accumulate the days needed for the extended waiting period. The waiting period must be completed within 8 calendar weeks. 

Members taking part in employment promotion measures as agreed with the Employment and Economic Development Office may be entitled to an increased earnings-related component. The proposal seeks to lower this component, too. The change would come into effect on 1 January 2017 and would also apply to situations where payment of the increased earnings-related component began in 2016. For our members participating in employment promotion measures, such as studying independently with the permission of the Employment and Economic Development Office, this would mean a reduction in the earnings-related component in the middle of a commenced payment term. According to calculations made by the Federation of Unemployment Funds in Finland, the change would result in a reduction of EUR 471 for earnings-related allowance paid for a period of 200 days, if the allowance is based on a monthly salary of EUR 2,500.  

Payment of an increased earnings-related component (90 days) for those ending a long career would be discontinued. This change would come into effect such that the payment of an increased component would continue if the employment on which the entitlement is based on has been terminated before the end of year 2016. However, this entitlement will cease on 30 June 2017 even if the payment period for this increased earnings-related component had not ended yet. Furthermore, the amount of such increased component would be reduced as of the beginning of 2017. It has been rather rare, that a member in our fund has fulfilled the requirements for this increased component, as the most common ground for entitlement is that the employer has terminated the employment for financial and production-related reasons. Fixed term employment running out does not qualify for this component. 

The proposal would shorten the maximum payment period for an earnings-related allowance as follows: 

The Government proposal would not interfere with extended earnings-related allowance.  

Entitlement to the maximum period of earnings-related allowance could still be renewed by re-fulfilling the employment condition. If members were unable to re-fulfil the employment condition during the reduced maximum period, they would have to apply for labour market subsidy, which, according to the proposal, would be paid by Kela. Members of the Teachers’ Unemployment Fund are usually unemployed for short periods, therefore the reduction of the maximum period of earnings-related allowance would not affect them. However, some members do experience prolonged unemployment, and in the future, they would become Kela’s customers who receive labour market subsidy considerably sooner than is currently the case.
Once the Parliament has considered the Government proposal, we will disclose more detailed information on how the proposed changes will be implemented. More information on the increased earnings-related component and the maximum payment period can be found on our web pages under the title Earnings-related allowance.