Almost all people experience at least one period of unemployment at some point of their careers. Unemployment periods are more common today, as the working life is increasingly fragmented. After graduation people no longer immediately seek the job to last them a lifetime, instead they gain work experience from various work environments while building up their careers. Also, the increase of fixed-term employment and gig jobs has an impact on the number of unemployment periods. Unemployment can be an opportunity to change direction and find something new and interesting. That is why we should not be afraid of short unemployment periods. Find out what unemployment benefits you are entitled to in the quick guide of Kela!

Unemployment - help from Public employment and business services

Unemployed job-seeker

An unemployed job-seeker is someone whose job search is valid in the way prescribed in law and who is not in an employment relationship nor employed in full-time business activities or his or her own work in an uninterrupted period of over two weeks as intended in the Unemployment Security Act. In principle, also an employee who is laid off temporarily or entitled to an adjusted unemployment benefit is considered unemployed.

Studying while unemployed

As a rule, a full-time student is not entitled to unemployment benefits. The primary benefit for full-time students is student allowance. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and if you wish to start studying while unemployed, it is worth reading about vocational labour market trainings, apprenticeship trainings, the opportunities for short-term or part-time studies and about independent studies on the unemployment benefit. If you plan to start studies as an unemployed job-seeker, contact first the TE office.

By vocational labour market training we usually mean vocational training after comprehensive school. Vocational labour market training organized by TE offices allows you to get the same benefit as when you are unemployed, and if the training was included in the employment plan, you can get this benefit in its increased form.

Apprenticeship training allows you to get yourself an occupation and to study for vocational qualifications or parts of it. The majority of studies is organized in a job at the workplace. Apprenticeship training is full-time and based on a fixed-term work contract. The employer will pay you wages during the apprenticeship training.

Part-time studies will not prevent you from getting unemployment benefits. The Unemployment Allowances Act defines full-time and part-time studies. If you plan to study while unemployed, contact first the TE office. The TE office will tell you whether the studies you are planning are full-time or part-time studies.

If you are at least 25 years old, you can study short-term, i.e. no more than six months of studies while on unemployment benefit. The precondition is that the studies will offer vocational preparedness or support business activities. If you are at least 25 years old, you may also have a right to independent studies with the support of unemployment benefit. The TE office will make an estimate of this, so when planning to study, contact first the TE office.

Temporary lay-off

Temporary lay- off refers to a temporary interruption of work and pay. During a lay-off the employment relationship will stay as it is in other respect. The lay-off can be determined for a fixed term, until further notice or by shortening the working hours.
The employer can lay an employee off, if he has the reason for the lay-off as prescribed in the Contracts of Employment Act, if the work or the employer’s possibility to offer work have decreased on a temporary basis, and the employer cannot arrange other suitable work or training that meets the employer’s needs for the employee. If suitable work for the laid-off person turns up to the employer during the lay-off notification period, the lay-off must be interrupted.

The employer must notify the employee of the reason, starting time and duration or estimated duration for the lay-off (lay-off notice) no later than 14 days prior to the beginning of the lay-off. Other stipulations on the lay-off notice may be applied in the Collective Agreement for State Civil Servants and Employees under Contract.

The laid-off person shall register in the local TE Office and submit the employer’s lay-off notice to the office. A laid-off employee is entitled to unemployment allowance.

TE Office

If you become unemployed, you must register in the TE Office as an unemployed job-seeker. Unless you register as a job-seeker in the TE Office, you are not eligible to an unemployment benefit. The TE Office will also provide you with support for the job search and employment, such as counseling, various trainings and instructions on how to apply for unemployment benefits. The decision on your unemployment benefit will be made either by the unemployment fund or the Social Insurance Institute.

Long-term unemployment

Situations where unemployment has continued over a year are called long-term unemployment. Various means to return into working life have been developed for the long-term unemployed. These include rehabilitative work activities, pay subsidy and the cross-sectoral joint service promoting employment (TYP).

Becoming employed after a difficult situation in life.

Young people, too, can suffer from mental health problems. It is therefore important to develop means to support the ability to work and to tailor work duties so that they support the return to and coping with work in various situation in life.

In addition, there may be prejudices towards people suffering from mental health problems, which may make finding employment more difficult. This calls for a change in attitudes. For example, the work community must be ready to receive an employee who is on sick leave due to mental health issues.

Nyyti ry is an association promoting students’ mental health. They offer various peer support and chat services and produce content in the social media that promotes students’ wellbeing.

Prisoners’ employment opportunities are maintained by various means when they are serving time: they can gain work experience in prison in workshops or even study to learn a new occupation! According to the principles of the Criminal Sanctions Agency, prisoners are only offered such work that may benefit them after their release.

The employer is allowed to check your criminal record only when applying to specific fields. More information on privacy protection (sisäinen linkitys).

KRIS offers peer support and help in running your daily life. It is a global organization providing help and support for inmates who are released from prison.

You can start a job search when you have stopped taking substances and have resources for more than just staying sober. Your municipality website or other instances below will provide you with more information on rehabilitation services. The employees in the service may help you to find a suitable employment programme to participate in or further instructions on dealing with TE services.
Involved parties are e.g. Tukikohta ry and EHYT ry that provide support for difficult situations as well as intoxicant-free meeting places.