Government proposes temporary support for those absent from work with no pay due to the coronavirus epidemic

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 16.4.2020 13.44
Press release 96/2020

Loss of income would be compensated when a parent remains unpaid at home to care for their children during the epidemic. Loss of income would also be compensated in situations where a person has been directed to quarantine-like conditions upon return from abroad to Finland.

Those absent from work with no pay due to the coronavirus epidemic could apply for temporary support. The support would compensate for the wages lost by a parent and secure their living when a parent is absent from work with no pay, while having complied with the Government’s recommendations to combat the coronavirus. The support could be paid to a parent who cares for children at home when they are not attending early childhood education and care or grades 1 to 3 in basic education due to the restrictions.  Even parents of pupils in need of special support or pupils in extended compulsory education and preparatory education would be entitled to the support.  

A parent or guardian in a contractual or public-service employment relationship in Finland would have the right to the support, or a spouse living in the same household as the parent or guardian. 

The benefit would also be available to persons arriving in Finland from abroad who have been placed in quarantine-like conditions and are therefore away from work without pay. The condition for compensation is that the person has a contractual or public-service employment relationship in force in Finland. The benefit will be paid for a maximum period of 14 days from the date of arrival in Finland.

A group of seasonal workers arriving in the country could also receive the benefit if their employment relationship starts with two weeks' unpaid absence from work in quarantine-like conditions.

Compensation would be paid if the loss of earnings were not compensated under other legislation, such as the Communicable Diseases Act. The compensation would require an agreement between the employee and the employer on unpaid absence.

"Securing people's livelihoods in the midst of a crisis is one of the Government's key objectives. This proposal aims to improve the financial situation of people absent from work due to restrictive measures, and the situation of their families,” says Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen.

The amount of the support would be the same as the minimum parental allowance, i.e. EUR 28.94 per weekday (EUR 723.50 per month). The support would be paid for the duration of the emergency conditions, as from 16 March. Parents of schoolchildren would receive support for one school term at the most. The support could be applied for retroactively. Further details on its implementation would be communicated by the Social Insurance Institution Kela. 

The total amount of funds reserved for this support would be EUR 94 million. The support would be financed by the Finnish state.

Inquiries:

Liisa Siika-aho, Director, tel. +358 295 163 085