Tekijä (20.03.2024 - Heikki Jokinen) The Orpo-Purra Government’s drastic cuts in Finnish unemployment security endanger the existing system of temporary lay-offs. In international comparison, this system is seen as something positive and working well.

The employer can lay off an employee temporarily, based on the rules stipulated in the Finnish law, either for a fixed-term period or until further notice. This can happen by reducing working hours or interrupting the work completely.

Even when payment of wage or salary is stopped, the employment relationship remains in effect in other respects. For the loss in pay, an employee can get earnings-related allowance for the period of the lay-off. For Industrial Union members, this is paid by the A-kassa unemployment fund.

Tekijä (20.03.2024 - Heikki Jokinen) The Orpo-Purra Government is introducing deep cuts to earnings-related unemployment security.

It will cut the earnings-related unemployment allowance, make it more difficult to get it and freeze the index increases. The changes will concern the unemployed, those temporarily laid-off and part-time workers.

Some of the cuts are already in place. From the beginning of this year, the waiting period for unemployment benefits has been raised from five to seven days.

Tekijä (14.02.2024 - Heikki Jokinen) The changes in unemployment security means that seasonal workers must find other work outside their employment periods. Moreover, these changes make seasonal work even more unattractive.

- Even now the employers have problems finding employees. These branches do not attract too many Finns due to the seasonal nature of the work, generally heavy work and quite low pay, says Riikka Vasama, the Bargaining Specialist at the Industrial Union in her interview in Finnish for this magazine.

For example, in the agriculture and horticulture sector the share of foreign employees is high. The Industrial Union and the Federation of Agricultural Employers estimate that half of the people working in these branches have a foreign background.

Tekijä (14.02.2024 - Heikki Jokinen) Unemployment security will undergo several changes this year. Unfortunately, not for the better, as the Orpo-Purra right-wing Government is determined to cut benefits and tighten conditions for receiving these.

One of the harshest changes doubles the time in work needed to get earnings-related unemployment allowance. For now, one needs to have 26 weeks (about six months) employment during the 28 months preceding unemployment.

From September this year, this employment condition will be extended from 6 to 12 months during these same 28 months. This means it will be much harder to be eligible for earnings-related unemployment benefits, just like the government parties intend it to be.