New model for employment services to be introduced on 2 May 2022 – How payment of Kela benefits may be affected

The new model for employment services due to be introduced in May will offer unemployed jobseekers more customised support especially early on in the unemployment. Jobseekers will continue to be expected to keep looking for work regularly in order to retain their right to unemployment benefits. However, waiting periods for unemployment benefits will be shortened.

The new model for employment services will go into effect on 2 May 2022. Under the new model, each unemployed jobseeker’s situation and job search outlook are assessed individually. As part of that process, an individual employment plan is drawn up, which jobseekers must comply with.

As soon as someone registers as an unemployed jobseeker, they are given an appointment with either the TE Services or an employment specialist representing the municipality. An employment plan is drawn up, with input from the jobseeker. Follow-up meetings are initially arranged at two-week intervals. The goal is to offer each jobseeker the kind of support and services they need.

Job search requirements

Under the new plan, unemployed jobseekers must apply for work as agreed in their individual employment plan in order to retain their right to unemployment benefits. Each jobseeker can decide which jobs to apply for. Jobseekers cannot forfeit their unemployment benefit or suffer a reduction in it as long as they file the agreed number of job applications and comply with the employment plan.

The basic requirement is to apply for four jobs each month, but that can be adjusted according to job availability and the jobseeker’s functional capacity. Exceptions can be made for example if the jobseeker is unfit for work.

Job search activity must be reported regularly using the TE Services e-service portal. The reporting period is usually one month.

Shorter waiting periods

Jobseekers who do not apply for work as agreed may be issued a reminder by the TE Services.

In case of continued non-compliance, the TE Services can impose a short waiting period during which the jobseeker will receive no unemployment benefits. Instead of 60 days as is currently the case, the waiting period will only be five or ten days.

Jobseekers who repeatedly fail to seek work as agreed can lose their entitlement to unemployment benefits indefinitely. A 45-day waiting period can be imposed for turning down a definitive job offer. The current waiting period requirement is 90 days.

Kela pays unemployment benefits based on a labour policy statement issued by the TE Services or the municipal authorities. Conversely, Kela stops paying unemployment benefits if the TE Services issue a statement imposing a waiting period. It is not necessary to re-apply for unemployment benefits after completing a short waiting period.

Checklist for unemployed jobseekers.

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