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Legislative changes in 2024 

Major cuts to unemployment benefits are being carried out, and these will apply to all recipients of unemployment benefits.

According to the Government Programme, the legislative reforms and cuts will enter into force in 2024. The Finnish Parliament has approved legislative amendments that will take effect on 1 January 2024 and 1 April 2024, and some amendments that are due to take effect in September. Other legislative amendments have not yet been adopted by Parliament.

This page contains information about the planned reforms in accordance with the Government Programme. We will update the page as we receive more details about the timeline and content of the reforms.

The legislative changes are summarised on this page in the order in which they are put into effect. 

 

Changes that will take effect on 1 January 2024

The waiting period will be extended to seven weekdays. The waiting period means the number of days at the start of unemployment or lay-off during which earnings-related allowance is not paid.

The waiting period is seven days if the waiting period starts on or after 1 January 2024.

Year 2023, the waiting period is five weekdays, or one week of unemployment. In the future, the waiting period would be extended to about one and a half weeks. The change will affect nearly all recipients of earnings-related allowance.

Holiday compensation for full-time work lasting more than two weeks will affect the payment of the unemployment benefit. This means that if the person has unused holidays at the end of the employment relationship, the holiday compensation paid for these will postpone the start of the entitlement to earnings-related allowance. Holiday compensation equal to one month’s pay postpones the start of the entitlement to earnings-related allowance by about one month. The waiting period begins after the period corresponding to the days of unused holiday. 

Holiday compensation will affect the unemployment benefit if the compensation is paid on the basis of full-time work lasting more than two weeks which ended on or after 1 January 2024.

Holiday compensation that affects the unemployment benefit

  • holiday compensation based on the Annual Holidays Act,
  • compensation for carried-over holiday,
  • holiday compensation that has not been paid because the applicant waives their right to holiday compensation, and
  • holiday compensation from the working time bank.

Please note! Only holiday compensation for full-time work lasting more than two weeks will affect the unemployment benefit.   

Special situations regarding the effect of holiday compensation on the unemployment benefit

  • The employer and employees can agree in writing that old holidays will be transferred to a new employment relationship. The employment relationships do not have to follow each other without interruption.
  • If holiday compensation for full-time work is paid in connection with each pay day, the impact on the unemployment benefit of the total combined holiday compensation for the duration of the employment relationship is determined at the end of the employment relationship.
  • A bankrupt employer bankrupt and an insolvency estate are two separate employment relationships. The effect of holiday compensation on the unemployment benefit is determined separately for each employment relationship.
  • If holiday compensation has accrued from full-time and part-time work, only the portion based on full-time work has an impact on the payment of the unemployment benefit.

The period of delay caused by holiday compensation will elapse concurrently with another rejection decision in the case of:

 

  • a waiting period, or
  • the rejection is related to compensation corresponding to pay during the notice period, if
    • the employee has resigned after being laid off for 200 days.

Example: 

You are unemployed from 1 June 2024 to 31 July 2024 and are paid holiday bonuses for about one month as part of your final pay. Your holiday bonus postpones the start of your allowance, and you do not receive the earnings-related allowance from 1 June 2024 until 30 June 2024. After this, there is a seven-day waiting period from 1 July to 9 July 2024. You are paid a daily allowance from 10 July to 31 July 2024. 

 

This means that, with some exceptions, benefits do not increase with rising consumer prices. Freezing the national pensions index will affect the level of earnings-related allowance for all recipients.

Changes to take effect on 1 April 2024.

Child supplements are no longer included in earnings-related allowances. Currently, earnings-related unemployment allowance includes a child supplement for up to three children under the age of 18. The average amount of child supplement is between 130 to 240 euros a month. About half of the recipients of earnings-related allowance paid out by Super Unemployment Fund have received child supplements. 

Child supplements will be discontinued as of 1 April 2024. 

The exempt amount of €300 of earned income will be abolished. Currently, recipients of unemployment benefits can earn 300 euros without their wages or business income affecting their unemployment allowance. 

Income exceeding the exempt amount of 300 euros reduces unemployment allowance by 50%. In other words, the change will reduce the benefit by a maximum of 150 euros a month. 

Last year, about half of the recipients earnings-related allowance from Super Unemployment Fund were paid an adjusted daily allowance. 

Changes to take effect on 1 August 2024 based on the latest available information.

Job alternation leave will be abolished on August 1, 2024. It is still possible to start job alternation leave on July 31, 2024.

In 2022, Super Unemployment Fund paid job alternation allowances to 160 recipients. 

Changes to take effect in September 2024 based on the latest available information.

The employment requirement for unemployment benefits will be changed to be determined based on income. This means that the right to the allowance will no longer depend on the number of hours worked before unemployment. Whether or not the applicant meets the employment requirement would be assessed solely on the basis of income.

Currently, in order to receive earnings-related unemployment allowance, the person must have worked 18 hours a week for about six months. In the future, the requirement would be changed to a certain minimum monthly income (930 euros in year 2024). 

The euro-based employment condition applies to wages earned and paid on or after 2.9.2024.

 

The length of the employment requirement for earnings-related allowance is set to be doubled. Currently, earnings-related daily allowance can be received after about six months of work. In the future, this requirement would be extended to one year. In other words, the employment requirement can only be fulfilled after 12 months of employment.

The change particularly affects young people whose careers have just begun before being interrupted.

 

 

The level of earnings-related allowance is set to be reduced in stages over time as follows:

  • to 80% of the original amount after the first eight weeks of unemployment (about two months), and
  • to 75% of the original amount after the 34 weeks of unemployment (about eight months).

Currently, unemployment security is not reduced in stages and the amount is the same for the entire maximum duration of receiving the allowance. In 2023, the average duration of unemployment for members of Super Unemployment Fund was 96 days, or about four and a half months. 

 Effect of the gradual decrease in 2023 figures

 
Pay before unemployment Full earnings-related allowance Effect of the decrease to 80% after eight weeks
1500 € 1085 €  – 217 € to 868 €
2000 € 1300 €  – 260 € to 1040 €
2500 € 1516 €  – 303 € to 1213 €

Pay before unemployment

Full earnings-related allowance

Effect of the decrease to 75% after 34 weeks

1500 € 1085 €  – 271 € to 814 €
2000 € 1300 € – 325 € to 975 €
2500 € 1516 €  – 379 € to 1137 €

The amounts are before taxes. Earnings-related allowance is taxable income. (Table: tyj.fi)

 

Unemployment security has included several age-related exceptions. Age-related exceptions are set to be abolished.

However, the Government has not yet announced in detail whether the change applies to all age-related exceptions. 

Age affects many aspects of unemployment security:

  • Persons aged 57 or over may be covered by the employment obligation that guarantees a job.
  • In certain situations, persons aged 58 or over may receive earnings-related allowance for 500 days instead of 400 days.
  • For persons aged 58 and over, the level of daily allowance is protected. Currently, the amount of allowance cannot decrease once the employment requirement is met again after the person has reached the age of 58.
  • Persons aged 60 or over can meet the employment requirement in services promoting employment.

In addition, the Unemployment Security Act contains provisions on transition security for persons aged 55 or over.

Currently, wage-subsidised work counts towards the employment requirement at a rate of 75% of the norm. In the future, wage-subsidised work would no longer be counted towards the employment requirement for earnings-related allowance. This, in turn, means that persons in wage-subsidised work can no longer qualify for earnings-related allowance. 

The change concerning wage-subsidised work will particularly affect those who are unemployed long-term.