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Government proposes temporary amendments to the Unemployment Security Act, Act on Financing Unemployment Benefits and Act on Unemployment Funds

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 2.4.2020 13.38
Press release 78/2020

The proposed amendments are intended to improve the financial position of persons in need of unemployment security in the difficult economic situation caused by the coronavirus epidemic.

Employers are now in a situation where they have to adjust their operations as the demand is weakening due to the coronavirus epidemic. The Government proposes measures to strengthen the livelihood of employees in a situation where many of them are facing unemployment or layoffs.
The proposal concerns temporary amendments to the Unemployment Security Act, Act on Financing Unemployment Benefits and Act on Unemployment Funds. 
The Government proposes the following amendments:
  • The five-day waiting period before a person is eligible for unemployment security would be abolished. This would concern earning-related allowance, basic unemployment allowance and labour market support. The allowances payable for these days would be funded by the State.
  • The requirement concerning the period of employment for wage-earners that is a condition for being eligible for unemployment allowance would be shortened. The required period of employment would be 13 calendar weeks, instead of the present 26 calendar weeks. For non-owner family members of entrepreneurs, the required period of employment would be 26 calendar weeks instead of the present 52 calendar weeks.
  • Unemployment allowances paid on the grounds of layoffs would not be taken into account in calculating the maximum period of payment that applies to the unemployment allowance. This amendment would improve unemployment security in cases where the unemployment is prolonged. 
“A broad range of means must be deployed to alleviate the adverse economic and social impacts of the measures taken to restrict the spread of the coronavirus. This is part of the first set of measures to be proposed by the Government to improve the financial security of persons facing layoffs or unemployment,” Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen says.
The acts would enter into force as soon as possible and remain in force until 6 July. The amendments would be applied retroactively, starting on 16 March 2020.
The proposal is related to the supplementary Budget proposal for 2020, and it is to be presented in this context.
Besides this proposal, ways to facilitate the payment of unemployment benefits with regard to other relevant conditions have been sought. This work continues as urgent.


Marjaana Maisonlahti, Senior Ministerial Adviser tel. 0295 163 288
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