Unemployment security

Employment and Economic Development Services (TE services)

If you become unemployed or without work, or you are prevented from working or you are laid off, register promptly as an unemployed job-seeker on the website of the Employment and Economic Development Services (TE-keskus/TE Centre). Your registration will be become effective right away, but it cannot be pre-dated, say, to the previous day. Unemployment benefits are only paid for the period during which your registration is active. Register as an unemployed job-seeker (in Finnish/Swedish) >

Temporary amendments to the Unemployment Security Act

Waiting period

As a result of the amendments, the unemployed and people who have been laid off are also entitled to unemployment benefits for the waiting period, if the first day of the waiting period falls within 16 March–31 December 2020.

Business activities and studies of those laid off are not verified by the TE Centre.

As previously, those who are laid off have to register as unemployed job-seekers with the TE Centre. Additionally, those who are laid off are obligated to accept work offered by an employer. The purpose of the amendment is to expedite the processing of the employment security matters of those laid off. As a result of the amendment, those laid off are no longer required to prepare an employment plan or participate in the services offered by TE Centre.

In no case will the maximum eligibility period accrue between 1 July and 31 December 2020.

Maximum eligibility period

If the lay-off commences during 16 March–31 December 2020, any unemployment benefits paid during said dates will not count against their maximum eligibility for unemployment allowance in determining the maximum period of 300/400/500 days for which earning-related benefits are paid.

The amendment concerning the maximum period will not apply to the unemployed, circumstances comparable to lay-offs or inclement weather preventing the performance of work.

Required duration of membership and employment

If the requirement for a minimum period of membership and employment of 26 calendar weeks is not met, 13 calendar weeks will satisfy the condition regarding the duration of membership and employment. If so, a minimum period of one calendar week of employment after 1 March 2020 is required for eligibility for unemployment benefits and the date of first instalment of the benefit may not fall later than 31 December 2020.

The duration of membership and employment of non-owning family members of self-employed persons is reduced from 52 to 26 calendar weeks.

Additional information > 


Full-time self-employed persons

Full-time self-employed persons may be entitled to temporary labour market subsidy paid by Kela as a result of a sudden and unexpected fall in demand. This applies to all self-employed persons irrespective of legal form. The Act is in force up to 31 December 2020.

A precondition for eligibility for labour market subsidy is that the self-employed person’s business activity has ceased or that the income form self-employment falls short of EUR 1,089.67 per month for each person employed. The suspension of activity or fall in income must be due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is not necessary to wind up the business to be eligible for the subsidy.

In practice, the process works as follows:

  1. The self-employed person registers as a job-seeker with the TE Centre and submits a report detailing the suspension of full-time activity or fall in income because of the coronavirus pandemic.
  2. The TE Centre issues a labour policy statement on the self-employed person’s right to labour market subsidy to Kela.
  3. The self-employed person files an application for labour market subsidy with Kela.
  4. Kela starts paying labour market subsidy to the applicant.

No amendments have been made to self-employed persons’ unemployment security as far as the earnings-related unemployment allowance is concerned. An earnings-related unemployment allowance may also be paid in the future, if the business has been wound up, full-time self-employment has ceased or if business activities are carried out as a sideline or are of short duration. Members of the Entrepreneurs’ Unemployment Fund may also apply to Kela for labour market subsidy at their discretion.

Additional information:

Act on Self-Employed Persons’ Right to Social Security effective as of 8 April 2020 >

Questions and answers concerning self-employed persons’ right to social security >

Business activity and unemployment security > 

Unemployment funds

If you are a wage-earner, you should obtain insurance by joining a wage-earners’ unemployment fund, and if  a self-employed person, an entrepreneurs’ unemployment fund.


Finka Unemployment Fund

Apply to the Finka Unemployment Fund for earning-related unemployment allowance >

Self-employed persons’ unemployment security

For information on self-employed persons’ unemployment security, go to the website of the Federation of Finnish Enterprises at Suomen Yrittäjäin Työttömyyskassan (SYT-kassa) >.


Full-time students

As a rule, full-time students are not entitled to unemployment benefits. Read more >


The TE Centre issues a ‘labour policy opinion’ which you then use a basis for your application for unemployment allowance, labour market subsidy or earnings-related unemployment allowance. If you are a member of an unemployment fund, the benefit will be paid by your fund (e.g.  Finka, SYT, YTK), or by Kela (Finnish Social Insurance Institution).

The labour policy opinion is used in dealings with the payer of the benefit (Kela or the unemployment fund).


Benefits paid by Kela:

  • Basic unemployment allowance
  • Labour market subsidy

Benefit paid by unemployment funds:

  • Earnings-related unemployment allowance


FAQ – Unemployment

Am I entitled to benefits paid by the unemployment fund if I lose out on work due to the coronavirus pandemic? 

Yes. If you are a salaried employee, you are entitled to full pay for a maximum period of 14 days, if you are prevented from working for reasons beyond the control of both you and your employer. Your employer’s obligation to pay your salary ends in 14 days. After this, you will be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Aside from unemployed jobseekers, laid-off personnel and people whose salary payments and work have been discontinued for a reason comparable to layoff, are entitled to unemployment benefits. The “reasons comparable to layoff” include situations in which the performance of work is prevented for reasons beyond the control of both you and your employer (such as a ban imposed by the authorities because of the pandemic).

Part-time self-employed persons are also entitled to the unemployment allowance to cover losses of earnings due to the coronavirus. If you are self-employed on a full-time basis, you will only be entitled to the unemployment allowance if you are a member of an entrepreneurs’ unemployment fund.

When an employee is ordered to stay away from the workplace to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the loss of income is compensated in the form of the communicable disease allowance. If you are paid the communicable disease allowance in such a situation, it will be deducted from your unemployment allowance.

If you become unemployed >

If you are laid off >


Do I need a statement verifying the cancellation of the gig when registering with the TE Centre or unemployment fund?

When you register as an unemployed job-seeker, you need to be able to demonstrate, in one way or another, that you have been laid off or that your employment has been terminated. If you are laid off, you will receive a written notice to this effect. In some cases, the employer reports lay-offs directly to the TE Centre. If, by contrast, your employment has ended and this is not indicated in, say, your certificate of fixed-term employment, you may ask your employer to give a specific certificate saying that your employment has ended. More information on the necessary reports and certificates is provided by the TE Centre.

The coronavirus pandemic does not, as such, create a specific right to unemployment allowance; instead, the right to the allowance is determined according to the general regulations concerning the period of employment and other matters.

If you engagement or gig for which were to receive non-wage work compensation is cancelled, you may mark such a day as a day without work. If the cancellation of the gig is disputed, said day must be indicated as legally disputed, with the result that no unemployment allowance is necessarily paid for said day.

Read: Some details concerning the impact of Coronavirus on work >