Earnings-related unemployment benefit

As an unemployment fund member, you are entitled to earnings-related unemployment benefit when you are laid off or unemployed if the membership condition and work requirement are fulfilled.

What is earnings-related unemployment benefit?

Unemployment benefit is paid to secure the livelihood of an unemployed jobseeker. Unemployment benefits include earnings-related daily allowance, basic unemployment allowance and labour market subsidy.

Unemployed jobseekers who fulfil both the membership and employment condition are entitled to earnings-related unemployment benefit. The earnings-related unemployment benefit is based on your previous earnings, which means that it is considerably higher than benefits granted by Kela.

You can estimate your daily allowance for the period of unemployment or lay-off by using a calculator.

The earnings-related unemployment benefit is considerably higher than benefits paid by Kela.

When will I start receiving earnings-related unemployment allowance?

  • You are an unemployed jobseeker
  • You have been a member of the unemployment fund for at least 28 weeks (membership condition)
  • You have worked at least 26 weeks (until 1.9.2024) during your membership and the reference period (28 months before your unemployment, work requirement).
  • From September 2, 2024, onwards, the membership and employment requirements will be extended to 52 calendar weeks. For more information about the changes, please visit Erko website. (available only in Finnish)

The unemployment fund decides on the granting of the earnings-related unemployment benefit. The unemployment benefit of Loimu members is managed by the Unemployment Fund for Higher Educated Employees Erko.

If you are not entitled to the earnings-related unemployment benefit, you can apply for basic unemployment allowance or labour market subsidy from Kela.

You have to fulfil the membership and work requirement in order to receive earnings-related unemployment benefit.

Fulfilling the work requirement

  • Fulfilling the employment condition requires a minimum of 26 calendar weeks of work (until September 1, 2024) or 52 weeks of work (from September 2, 2024 onwards) within the preceding 28 months before unemployment.
  • The length of the reference period for the work requirement is 28 months before unemployment, but the review period may also be longer if there is an acceptable reason for it as defined by the Unemployment Security Act.However, an extension cannot be granted for a period during which you have not been a member of an unemployment fund.
  • Acceptable reasons for extending the 28-month reference period due to absence from the labour market include full-time studies, sick leave, institutional care, rehabilitation, compulsory military service, non-military service, imprisonment, job alternation leave, grant periods and the care of a child up to 3 years of age.
  • In practice, the extension of the reference period means that absence from the labour market caused by the aforementioned reasons can be skipped, and the reference period can be extended to the period before the absence. Staying abroad or housekeeping, for example, are not acceptable reasons. The reference period can be extended by a maximum of seven years.
  • Employment condition:
    Until September 1, 2024: Each calendar week with at least 18 hours of work in one or more jobs, and the salary adheres to the terms of the collective agreement or, if there is no collective agreement in the industry, the salary for full-time work is at least 1,331 euros per month in 2023 (1,283 euros/month in 2022). An exception to this is, for example, the education sector, where each calendar week with at least eight hours of work per week can be considered for the employment condition. Paid annual leave is also included in the employment condition if the holiday pay is calculated based on at least 18 weekly hours (in the education sector, based on 8 weekly hours).
    From September 2, 2024: The employment condition is monetized, meaning that the accumulation of the employment condition no longer depends on the number of hours worked but on the salary received for the work. Additionally, the accumulation of the employment condition is no longer assessed on a weekly basis but on a monthly basis. Going forward, the employment condition will accumulate for a calendar month in which the paid salary is at least 930 euros. The employment condition can also accumulate in half-month increments if the salary for the work is at least 465 euros but less than 930 euros per month.
  • All work is included in the work requirement, which means that the work does not need to be in your own field.
  • A full-time student who has joined the unemployment fund can accumulate their employment condition throughout their entire studies, with a maximum limit of 7 years. This is because studies are considered an acceptable reason for being out of the job market, thus extending the evaluation period for the accumulation of the employment condition. Remember to keep your employment contracts and pay slips for the calculation of the employment condition and daily allowance if you become unemployed after graduation.

The unemployment fund decides on the granting of the earnings-related unemployment benefit. There are exceptions to the earnings-related unemployment benefit conditions, so please check the precise, up-to-date information either from Erko’s website or the website of the Federation of Unemployment Funds in Finland TYJ.

More information elsewhere: