Right to earnings-related daily allowance
If you become unemployed, are temporarily laid off, or are only partially employed because the employer has no more work to offer, you may be entitled to earnings-related allowance.
Remember to register as a jobseeker with your local Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office(opens in new window, you move to another service)) no later than on the first day of your unemployment or layoff. You must also register as an unemployed jobseeker if you are only partially employed but you are ready to accept full-time employment. Keep your job search valid as instructed by the TE Office.
NOTE! If you are at least 55 years ols and if you have been dismissed on production and economic grounds and if you entend to apply for a change security allowance, you must register as an unemployed jobseeker within 60 days of the date of dismissal. Read more under Change security allowance.(opens in new window)
The allowance is applied for retroactively from the unemployment fund in periods of four calendar weeks or one month. However, you can send the first application, including attachments, to the fund two full calendar weeks (Mon–Sun) after becoming unemployed. Read the conditions for claiming earnings-related allowance in advance. Also, check the attachments needed for your application so that you have time to obtain any missing attachments. Earnings-related allowance must be applied for within three months of the first date on which you wish it to be paid.
The payment of earnings-related allowances is based on the Act on Unemployment Security (1290/2002). See also The guide to benefits at www.tyj.fi(opens in new window, you move to another service)
Conditions for claiming earnings-related allowance
As a general rule, receiving an earnings-related allowance requires the following:
- you are aged between 18 and 64 years (between 65 and 68, unemployment allowance may be paid in certain exceptional circumstances, usually only during layoffs or similar breaks in the operation of the educational institution)
- you are seeking full-time employment and have registered as an unemployed jobseeker with the TE Office. Earnings-related allowance may be paid and the waiting period may be taken only for the period in which the job search has been valid and for which the TE Office has issued an eligibility statement.
- you have been a member of an unemployment fund for at least 26 weeks
- you have met the employment condition during your membership with the fund
If the membership or employment condition is not met, check with Kela(opens in new window, you move to another service) if you are entitled to a basic unemployment allowance or labour market subsidy.
Membership and employment condition
Entitlement to an earnings-related allowance may only be incurred if you have been a member of an unemployment fund for at least 26 weeks and you have met the employment condition during your membership.
A key condition for maintaining your membership and claiming earnings-related allowance is that you have paid your membership fee as specified by the rules of the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science. For more information on joining the fund and membership fees, go to Membership(opens in new window).
The employee’s employment condition is met if you have been in paid employment that is subject to unemployment insurance for a minimum of 26 calendar weeks in the 28 months immediately preceding your unemployment, and
- your working hours have been at least 18 hours a week (for example, psychologists, early childhood education teachers, researchers, information specialists, trainers) or in the case of teaching in an educational institution, at least 8 hours a week
- you have been paid according to the relevant collective agreement or, if there is none, at least EUR 1331 /month for full-time work in 2023 (EUR 1283 in 2022).
The employment condition can accumulate differently in employment in the creative and performing arts sector, during pay-subsidised work, and in an employment promotion service for those over the age of 60 if the service is organised on the basis of employment obligation.
The employment condition can be met from several periods of work (including short substitutions) and can be accumulated by paid employment other than work in your own sector. Paid annual leave may accumulate the employment condition if the working time on which it is based meets the above conditions. As with any other business activity, work done on an assignment basis does not accumulate the employee’s employment condition. If there are more than the minimum number of calendar weeks that accumulate the employment condition, as a rule, the most recent ones will be taken into consideration. Your allowance will be determined based on your earnings for these weeks (see section Amount of earnings-related allowance for more information).
The normal 28-month review period may be extended by a maximum of seven years for an acceptable reason in accordance with the Act on Unemployment Security. In this case, the length of the required membership and employment condition may change.
You will lose the accumulated employment condition in the following situations:
- You are outside the labour market for more than 6 months without an acceptable reason. (Acceptable reasons do not include, for example, independent job-seeking without being registered as a jobseeker with the TE Office, staying abroad without a job or a place of study, or unpaid leave of absence if were not working for another employer or studying during your leave.)
- You are self-employed full time for more than 18 months.
- You change your unemployment fund and there is a gap of more than one month between your membership in the previous fund and the new fund, during which you are not a member of either fund.
In these situations, the unemployment fund will not be able to pay the daily allowance until you have fulfilled the employment condition again.
Accumulation of the employment condition in the education sector
Entitlement to an earnings-related allowance usually requires that your weekly working hours have amounted to at least 18 hours. Members of our unemployment fund that this working-hour condition applies to include psychologists, researchers, information specialists and early childhood education teachers.
If you work in teaching in an educational institution, the employment condition is accumulated by the calendar weeks during which your working hours were at least half of the lowest weekly hours of a full-time hourly teacher in the relevant education sector. Usually, the limit for being ‘full-time’ is 16 hours, which means that weeks during which the working hours that form the basis of the salary are at least 8 hours can count towards fulfilling the employment condition. The eight-hour limit is also applied to sectors in which there are no full-time hourly teachers.
If you are a teacher with hourly pay, your actual hours are counted. If you are a teacher with a monthly salary, you will be considered as working the number of hours per week on which your monthly salary is based.
Teaching work at an educational institution includes teaching in comprehensive schools, upper secondary schools, vocational institutes, technical institutes, civic education centres, upper secondary schools for adults and universities complying with a collective agreement in the education sector. By contrast, teaching or training carried out in the employment of a company engaged in consultancy and training activities, for example, is not considered teaching work at an educational institution, so it is subject to the 18-hour working time limit.
Accumulation of the employment condition in the creative and performing arts sector
In an employment relationship where the proportion of creative or performing work is decisive, the employment condition can include each calendar week in which the pay resulting from this work corresponds to at least EUR 309,53 (year 2023). Creative and performing arts work includes jobs such as a musician, actor, dancer, director and journalist.
Accumulation of the employment condition in pay-subsidised work and during an employment promotion service
If the pay-subsidised work has begun on 1 January 2017 or later, the pay-subsidised work accumulates the employment condition by 75% of its duration. Therefore, 35 weeks of pay-subsidised work is required to fulfil the 26-week employment condition. An exception to this is when pay-subsidised work is organised on the basis of the employment obligation for the elderly. In this case, pay-subsidised work accumulates the employment condition throughout its duration.
Pay-subsidised work that started before 1 January 2017 accumulates the employment condition throughout its duration. An exception to this is pay-subsidised work that started before 30 December 2013, where the highest increased pay subsidy was paid. In these cases, only half of the working weeks accumulate the employment condition.
To the extent that pay-subsidised work cannot be counted in the employment condition, it will extend the 28-month review period.
The employment condition can accumulate from an employment promotion service only if you have reached the age of 60 and the employment promotion service is organised on the basis of the employment obligation for the elderly.
Extension of the review period and length of the employment condition
The normal 28-month (i.e. 2-year, 4-month) review period may be extended by a maximum of seven years for an acceptable reason in accordance with the Act on Unemployment Security. Acceptable reasons for an extension include full-time studies, sick leave, birth of a child and care of a child up to 3 years of age, military service and civil service. An acceptable reason extends the review period according to its duration (for example, a 5-month parental allowance period extends the 28-month review period to 33 months, so that the period of parental leave is skipped).
- If your last week of employment that counted towards the employment condition was before 30 December 2013, the membership and employment condition is 34 calendar weeks.
- If your last week of employment that counted towards the employment condition was before 31 December 2009, and you have never received an earnings-related or basic allowance, the membership and employment condition is 43 calendar weeks.
As a general rule, the employment condition cannot be met for example by work during which you were on part-time child-care leave or received a part-time sickness allowance or partial disability pension, or during which you were paid a reduced sick pay. However, such employment may be taken into consideration for the extension of the review period, but only within the last 7 years.
Re-fulfillment of employment condition
The fulfilment of the employment condition is examined when you apply for earnings-related allowance for the first time. After that, the accumulation of the employment condition is monitored based on your applications and the attachments you submit. Your employment condition will be fulfilled again once you have accumulated 26 new weeks of eligible employment after your previous employment condition was fulfilled.
The employment condition can be re-fulfilled through part-time or occasional employment while you are receiving an adjusted allowance. It may also be re-fulfilled if you return to claiming earnings-related allowance after a break. The maximum period of the earnings-related daily allowance starts from the beginning when the employment condition is re-fulfilled. In addition, a waiting period may be set and the allowance level redefined. If you return as an applicant after a break, you must provide your pay and employment information for the period between the applications. If the employment condition is not re-fulfilled, payment of the earnings-related allowance may be continued on the basis of the previous entitlement.
The employment condition may accumulate normally during an employment promotion service, e.g. in part-time work. If the employment condition is re-fulfilled during independent studies or labour market training, the maximum period of earnings-related allowance will not start until the end of the training period. Since it is not possible to renew your entitlement for earnings-related allowance during your training period, it is a good idea to check how far the maximum period will suffice before you start your training. At the end of the maximum period, you can apply for labour market subsidy from Kela.
Restrictions to earnings-related allowance
No earnings-related allowance will be paid if:
- you are under 17 years old or if you are 65 years old or over
- you have not yet been a member of an unemployment fund for 26 weeks
- you have not met the employment condition of 26 weeks during your unemployment fund membership
- you have not registered as an unemployed jobseeker with the TE Office
- you are a full-time student *
- you are a full-time entrepreneur *
- you are fully self-employed (as a caregiver, for example) *
- you receive pay or other compensation paid by the employer during your notice period
- you are in military or civilian service
- you are serving a prison sentence
- you are hospitalised or in similar institutional care
*) In these situations, the TE Office assesses the situation based on the provisions of the Act on Unemployment Security and provides the unemployment fund with a statement, on the basis of which the unemployment fund will issue a negative decision on the earnings-related allowance.
You are not entitled to an allowance during a period in which you are receiving:
- maternity, paternity, parental or special care allowance, or you are on child-care leave
- full or partial sickness allowance
- unemployment pension or farm closure pension
- labour market subsidy or basic allowance
- old age pension, early old age pension, individual early retirement pension or career pension
- annual holiday pay based on full-time employment, or you are on unpaid leave
- pay or other compensation during your notice period, or some other financial benefit from your employer related to the termination of your employment
Exception: If you are employed and have received the maximum of 300 days of sickness allowance from Kela, you are still not fit for work and your employer cannot offer you a job that matches your work capacity, you are entitled to an unemployment benefit if the following conditions are met:
- your employer is not paying you full sick pay or partial sick pay based on full-time work
- your disability pension application has been rejected or is pending
- you have registered as a jobseeker with the TE Office
In this case, your application should be accompanied by a copy of Kela’s decision on reaching the maximum period for sickness allowance, your employer’s statement that they cannot offer you a job corresponding to your work capacity, and a copy of the documents related to your disability pension application.
Payment period of earnings-related allowance
The payment period of earnings-related allowance depends on your age and the duration of your work history at the onset of unemployment.
Allowance is paid
- for 300 days of unemployment, if you have an employment history of exactly or under three years
- for 400 days of unemployment, if you have an employment history of over three years
- for 500 days of unemployment, if you have met the employment condition after turning 58 years and if you have had at least five years of employment history in the last 20 years
For the purpose of calculating a three-year employment history, all paid employment completed over the age of 17 may be taken into account.
For the purpose of calculating a five-year employment history, the age requirement concerning the maximum period and the five-year employment history must be met before the employment condition is fulfilled. All the work covered by an employee’s or self-employed person’s pension insurance that you have carried out after turning 18 years of age counts towards your employment history.
At the end of the maximum allowance period, you can apply for labour market subsidy from Kela.
The allowance is paid for up to five days a week (Mon–Fri, including midweek holidays). If you are fully unemployed, each day of allowance payment counts for one day of the maximum payment period. If you receive an adjusted allowance, the days counted towards the maximum are calculated in the same proportion as the paid allowance is in comparison to the full allowance.
Ageing jobseekers may be entitled to additional days of earnings-related unemployment allowance once the maximum duration has been reached. Read more about additional days from the link below.