A paid employee who has completed a higher education degree, or who works in the field of education, teaching, psychology, or research, or is engaged in development or advocacy work in these fields may become a member of the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science. A student who has been admitted to higher education degree studies and is simultaneously engaged in paid employment relating to their field of study may also become a member. You can join us either directly or through a trade union.
The unemployment fund cannot be joined retroactively. Membership in the fund can start no earlier than the date on which the application for membership has arrived at the fund. Payment of the membership fee is a prerequisite for the start and maintenance of membership.
Apply for individual membership in the fund
If you only want to join the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science, apply for individual membership of the fund via the link below.
How to join both a trade union and the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science
If you wish to join both a trade union and the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science, contact the trade union directly.
If you are already or are planning to become a member of the Teacher Student Union of Finland – SOOL or the Finnish Psychological Association and are not yet a member of the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science, apply for membership of the fund through a union.
Continuing as a member of the fund
If you are already a member of the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science through a trade union and want to leave the union but continue as an individual member of the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science, inform us that you will continue as a member of the fund.
Conditions of membership
According to the fund rules, becoming a member of the fund is possible for anyone aged under 68 who is a paid employee under the purview of the Act on Unemployment Security and who
- works in the field of education, teaching, psychology or research; or
- has completed a higher education degree or an equivalent education; or
- has been admitted to higher education degree studies and is simultaneously engaged in paid employment relating to their field of study; or
- has completed a scientific, artistic or professional postgraduate degree or an equivalent education, or has been admitted to such studies and is simultaneously engaged in paid employment; or
- is engaged in development or advocacy work in the field of education, teaching, psychology or research.
You can join the unemployment fund on the basis of a short (even one-hour) replacement or a part-time employment relationship. However, it is not enough just to have an employment relationship, but you must also be paid wages on the date of joining. In other words, you cannot join the fund, for example, if you are completely unemployed, fully laid off, or on unpaid parental leave, child-care leave or sick leave. Studies or working on a grant do not prevent membership of the fund, as long as the above conditions are met.
The Finnish unemployment security system consists of an earnings-related allowance system for employees and an earnings-related allowance system for entrepreneurs and the self-employed. As the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science insures paid employees, we are not the right unemployment fund for you if you are a full-time entrepreneur or self-employed person. If you are self-employed, you can insure yourself against unemployment by joining the Entrepreneur Fund(avautuu uuteen ikkunaan, siirryt toiseen palveluun) (Yrittäjäkassa).
The individual member of the unemployment fund belongs to the unemployment fund directly, without membership of a trade union. The benefits paid and other services provided by the unemployment fund to members are exactly the same regardless of whether the person belongs to the unemployment fund through a union or as an individual member.
If you are an individual member of the unemployment fund, the fund will only provide you with advice and services related to unemployment security and job alternation allowance and pay you the respective benefits that you are entitled to. This applies not only to the Unemployment Fund for Education and Science but all other unemployment funds as well.
The membership fee of the unemployment fund is a euro amount determined on a monthly basis and is invoiced from individual members once a year in advance.
Additional security from a trade union
Many of our members belong to the unemployment fund as part of a trade union membership, in which case they receive both the unemployment fund and the union’s membership benefits.
The services and benefits provided by trade unions to their members include the services of shop stewards, safeguarding their members’ professional interests, insurance cover, a wide range of training activities, recreational services, benefits provided by partners, and publications that reinforce their professional identity. Union members are entitled to the services of shop stewards at their workplace and consultation services provided by the union’s legal advisors or other experts in issues such as problems at work. Trade unions also conduct negotiations on employee agreements and influence social decision-making and the legislation relevant to the sector.
For members who belong to a trade union, the unemployment fund membership fee is included in the union fee, and the union forwards a share of the fee to the fund.
A person moving to Finland from another EU/EEA country, Switzerland or the United Kingdom may, under certain conditions, join a Finnish unemployment fund unemployed. As a rule, joining a Finnish unemployment fund must take place no later than one month after the end of unemployment insurance in the country of origin.
If you are a so-called Nordic returnee, joining a Finnish unemployment fund must take place no later than eight weeks after the end of unemployment insurance in another Nordic country (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland). A Nordic returnee is considered to be a person who has lived in another Nordic country and returned to Finland and has also worked in Finland or received basic daily allowance or earnings-related allowance from Finland in the last 5 years.
Sweden and Denmark have a similar fund system to Finland. In these countries, a person’s insurance ends when he or she resigns as a member of the fund. In other EU/EEA countries, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, unemployment insurance ends when the insured work or payment of unemployment benefit ends.
A person moving to Finland from a country other than an EU/EEA country, Switzerland or the United Kingdom cannot join an unemployment fund unemployed.
It is only possible to move from one unemployment fund to another when you are employed. If you switch from one employee unemployment fund to another within one month, your periods of employment and insurance in the previous fund can be credited by the new fund. This requires that the membership fees of the previous fund have been paid until the end of the membership.
The new fund membership must start no later than one month after the end of the previous one. Please note that periods of employment during which your membership is not valid are not insured and do not count towards fulfilment of the employment condition. We recommend that you ensure that your fund membership continues without interruption:
- First, send a membership application to the new fund.
- Once you have received confirmation of the new membership, notify the previous fund in writing of your resignation.
- Pay your membership fee until the end of your previous membership and right from the start of the new membership.
The membership and employment periods are not transferred to the new fund if you were expelled from the previous fund.
You cannot be a member of two unemployment funds at the same time. If you are a member of more than one unemployment fund simultaneously, you are considered to be a member of the unemployment fund that you joined last.