Working abroad and unemployment security
If you move abroad, you should inform the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science and ask us for advice on continuing your membership and on transferring your periods of insurance and employment.
We kindly ask you to contact us in writing, using our messaging service in Openetti or email (email@example.com). In the message, describe your situation as comprehensively as possible, and at least indicate your membership number, which country you leaving for or from which country you are returning, what you are going to do abroad, the planned duration of the work or stay abroad, and whether you are a posted worker or hired from the place.
If you are leaving Finland to work in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you should contact the fund before your departure for detailed advice on continuing your membership. You should also contact the unemployment fund if you continue to live in Finland, but your country of employment is outside the EU/EEA.
If you will be working for a Finnish employer as a posted worker, you will still be covered by the Finnish unemployment security system. In this case, you should remain a member of the unemployment fund during the entire time you work abroad. You must also obtain certificate A1 from the Finnish Centre for Pensions in advance.
In Sweden and Denmark, unless you are a posted worker, you need to join a local unemployment fund to be eligible for earnings-related unemployment allowance. Contact a local unemployment fund for further advice. It is advisable to request advice before the start of employment, as the time of transferring the fund membership may be critical to the entitlement for an allowance.
Other EU/EEA countries have general unemployment insurance that does not normally require any specific action from you during your employment. If you are not a posted worker, you will be covered by the unemployment insurance of your country of employment.
If you have worked in another EU/EEA country and then remain in that country as an unemployed jobseeker, your entitlement to an earnings-related allowance will be determined according to the local legislation. However, you will be able to get credit for your periods of insurance and work from Finland, if necessary. In this case, the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science will provide the payer of the unemployment allowance with a certificate on your periods of insurance and work in Finland (former U1- form).
All communication between national institutions moves mainly electronically between countries using RINA-system. You should check with the officials in the country of employment whether you already require the certificate when you start work, or only in the event that you become unemployed. The officials in the country of your employment can send a form request to the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science throug RINA-system.
If you have worked in a non-EU/EEA country or Switzerland and then become unemployed, your entitlement to an earnings-related allowance will be determined according to the legislation of the country in which you have been working. It is unlikely that your previous employment in Finland will be accepted as the basis for any unemployment benefit. However, if you have been a posted worker, you should contact your unemployment fund.
A frontier worker refers to a person who works or has worked in an EU/EEA country other than their country of residence.
If a frontier worker continues to be in an employment relationship but is laid off, works part-time, or is called to work when required, for example, the unemployment allowance is paid by the country of employment. Frontier workers must register as jobseekers in their country of employment.
If a frontier worker has been working in an EU/EEA country other than their country of residence and then becomes fully unemployed, the unemployment allowance is paid by the country of residence. For this reason, frontier workers must register as jobseekers in their country of residence. They may also register as jobseekers in their country of employment, but, as a rule, the unemployment allowance is paid by an institution in the country of residence.
Frontier workers can also be credited for their periods of insurance and work in their former country of employment, such as Finland.
You need to have an unemployment insurance generally in the country you are working. This means that generally you need to take out your unemployment insurance there where you are working.
Please note! If you work in two or several EU Member States as a civil servant and as an employee means that the social security of the person working abroad is transferred to the country where the work as a civil servant is done. This also applies to situations in which the person works remotely in Finland as a civil servant for a foreign employer. If a person is a civil servant in one country and an employee in another, the insurance contributions for both employment relationships are to be paid to the country in which the person works as a civil servant under that country’s social security legislation. This also applies to short-term or part-time employment relationships or short-term or part-time positions as a civil servant. If you work for a foreign employer as an civil servant, please contact the fund so that we can advise you more on how to proceed with your membership.
Funds do not make any insurance decisions. Insurance decisions are made by:
- Finnish Centre for Pensions (Eläketurvakeskus): EU/EEA countries and social security agreement countries Australia, Chile, South-Korea, India, Israel, Canada, China, Quebec, USA and Japan
- The social Insurance institution of Finland (KELA): Other countries (for example, Russia)
In other words, if you are remote working abroad from Finland you can apply for an insurance decision from Finnish Centre for Pensions or from the Social Insurance institution of Finland. If your work is insured in Finland, you need to pay insurance payments to Finland. Your work can fulfill your employment condition in Finland if all the other requirements are met. If your remote work is part time work (not more than 80%), you can get adjusted allowance from Finland if all the other requirements are met.
Please pay attention that your employer pays the payments as agreed to Finland. This is because if you get the decision that you belong to the Finnish social security system, your employer is obliged to pay the payments to Finland. In other words, it is not then a voluntary decision. Employee can not transact all the payments him/or herself and you cannot for example pay the insurance afterwards. You need to also belong to the Finnish unemployment fund so that your work can fulfill your employment condition.
It is worth applying for the insurance decision in good time. We recommend that you should contact unemployment fund early if you are planning remote working abroad from Finland.
In Finland, you can be credited for periods of insurance and work in other EU/EEA countries. If you become unemployed before you have fulfilled the employment and membership requirements in Finland, you may fulfil the conditions for an earnings-related unemployment allowance by working in another EU/EEA country. For Sweden and Denmark, only periods of insurance and work as a member of an unemployment fund will be considered for earnings-related unemployment security. All communication between national institutions moves mainly electronically between countries. If necessary, the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science reguest information about your periods of insurance and work in another EU/EEA country(former U1-form) through electronic system.
Periods of insurance and work in another EU/EEA country may be counted towards the employment condition for earnings-related allowance in Finland provided that
- immediately before becoming unemployed, you have been a member of an unemployment fund and worked in Finland for at least four weeks
- you have joined an unemployment fund within a month of terminating the membership in the unemployment fund of the previous country.
However, you are not required to have worked for four weeks in Finland if
- during your period of work, you have continued to reside in Finland and have become fully unemployed, or
- you qualify for the five-year rule, i.e. you last worked in a Nordic country and you have worked or received an unemployment allowance in Finland within the last five years. If you are a five-year nordic remigrant, you are allowed eight weeks, instead of a month, to join a Finnish unemployment fund.
If your last employment was in Finland, or you qualify for the above-mentioned five-year rule, your earnings in Finland will be used to calculate your earnings-related allowance. If you have resided in Finland while working in another EU/EEA country, your income from the EU/EEA country will be used to calculate your earnings-related allowance.
If you return to Finland after having worked in a country other than an EU/EEA country or Switzerland (i.e. ‘third countries’), you cannot be credited for your periods of insurance and work abroad. You may be entitled to an earnings-related allowance if a sufficient number of working weeks that count towards fulfilment of the employment condition fall within the normal review period for your employment in Finland, another EU/EEA country or Switzerland, or if your eligibility for an earnings-related allowance was interrupted when you began work. Otherwise, you can only claim an earnings-related allowance after you have re-fulfilled the employment condition as a member of an unemployment fund after returning from such a third country.
However, if you have been posted abroad by a Finnish employer, your unemployment security will be considered the same as if you had been working in Finland.
If you have been an unemployed jobseeker in Finland for four weeks, you can go and seek employment in another EU/EEA country for three months and claim an earnings-related allowance according to Finnish legislation for that period. This right to seek employment with the support of an earnings-related allowance is established legislation and practice. The EURES advisers at the TE Office can provide you with information on your target country.
Before you go
- Inform the TE Office that you are leaving. Check with the TE Office on how you should inform them of your date of departure. Ask the TE Office to send a statement of your job search trip to the unemployment fund.
- You should request a U2 form for job-seeking from the fund well in advance of your departure. In order to provide the certificate, the unemployment fund needs your name, any previous family name, personal ID, target country and exact date of departure.
- Ask Kela for a certificate for health services.
- Kela can also provide you with additional information on retaining your social security during your job search.
- While you are seeking a job abroad, you will continue to claim your benefit from the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science in Finland.
- You can most conveniently apply for the benefit on our website through the Openetti online service.
In the target country
- You should register as a jobseeker within seven days of the date on which you left Finland.
- Present your U2 form to the authority in the country in which you are seeking work. It is advisable to take copies of the form.
- During your stay, you are obliged to be available for work in the country in which you are seeking employment. For example, you must respond to any job offers, and refusal of work may result in a period during which you are not entitled to unemployment benefits, as if you had refused work in Finland.
- Unemployment Fund for Education and Science needs confirmation from the unemployment authority in your target country that you have registered as a jobseeker and are available for work. This confirmation is provided on form U009. This is a document used between authorities, and the authority in the country in which you are seeking work should send it to us directly on the basis of the information on your U2 form. In the event of any problems, please contact the fund.
- Apply for the allowance online (see the section ‘Before you go’). An earnings-related allowance can only be paid once we have received your application and the U009 confirmation from the authority in the country in which you are seeking work.
- You must return to Finland from job-seeking within three months. If you do not return within three months, you will not be eligible for an earnings-related allowance before you have spent at least four weeks in employment or training. The maximum three-month period may only be exceeded if you have been unable to travel due to sickness or other force majeure.
When you return
- Register as a jobseeker with your local TE Office without delay.
- You can leave on a new job search period after you have been employed for at least one week in Finland in work fulfilling the employment condition, after which you have then been unemployed for at least four weeks. This requires approval by the TE Office again.
Did you forget to request the form in advance?
If you have notified the TE Office and agreed on your job search before your departure, but did not request a U2 form or did not get it in time for your departure, act as follows:
- Register as a jobseeker in the employment office of the country in which you are seeking work and tell them that you are seeking a job under the Regulation on social security.
- Ask the employment authority of the country to request information on your job search from the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science in Finland on the U007 form. Give our full postal address to the authority.
- Send your allowance application to us at the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science as described above.
- In other respects, including the period in which you must return, follow the guidelines described above.
If you do not return
If you get a job in an EU or EEA country, you may be subject to the legislation of that country. In this event, you may need to transfer the details of your employment and insurance with the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science to the insurance system of your new country of employment. You should inform your insurance institution that you have been insured against employment with the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science in Finland. You can also supply the insurance institution with our contact information as entered on the U2 form.
Problems while seeking a job abroad?
To our knowledge, most job-seeking trips go smoothly. You should be prepared that it may sometimes be challenging to register as a jobseeker. It is therefore advisable to check which of the employment offices in the country in which you are seeking work have an EURES service before your departure. These offices have advisers that specialise in services for jobseekers from abroad. You can find contact information for EURES offices from EURES – The European Job Mobility Portal website (SOLVIT, https://ec.europa.eu/eures/(avautuu uuteen ikkunaan, siirryt toiseen palveluun)). If there are problems, you can also contact your own TE Office in Finland.
In the beginning, you should be prepared for the slow transfer of information required for the payment of your benefits between the authorities in the two countries. This is especially the case if the labour authority in the country in which you are seeking work does not want to send any information on your registration and job search by email or fax but only by post.