When you find work

When you find part-time or incidental work, your unemployment benefit is adjusted to your earnings, and you will receive an adjusted unemployment benefit.Your other income also affects the amount of the unemployment benefit.

Adjusted unemployment benefit is payable if

  • you temporarily have a full-time job that lasts for a maximum of 2 weeks
  • you have a part-time job where the working hours over the review period do not exceed 80 percent of the full-time working hours applicable in the business sector
  • you continue working but working hours are shortened due to temporary lay-off
  • you have income from self-employment as a secondary business
  • your full-time self-employment activity lasts for a maximum of two weeks
  • you start a business while unemployed; you can still continue to receive an unemployment benefit for another 4 months.

When calculating the unemployment benefit, all earnings that exceed the exempt amount of EUR 300 are included.

You can estimate the effect of your earnings using the calculator application for unemployment benefits.

Report income

If you have incidental or part-time earnings while unemployed, you should report them to Kela. The unemployment benefit is adjusted to your earnings. The benefit is paid every four weeks. This is called the adjustment period. Income from part-time self-employment must also be reported to Kela. Any unemployment benefit you get is adjusted to such income.

The unemployment benefit can also be paid per calendar month if you have a part-time job where the wage is paid once a month.

The basic rule is that each euro of earned income decreases the unemployment benefit by 50 cents. Counted as earned income are such payments as wages and other monetary compensations, taxable reimbursements of expenses, fringe benefits, etc.

Part-time or incidental work often starts in mid-month. In order to attain the payment pattern for the adjusted unemployment benefit a so-called calculated income is used for the first payment. This means that the income for the first, incomplete payment period, the so-called special review period, is calculated so that it corresponds to a monthly income. The calculated monthly income is obtained when multiplying the daily wage by 21.5. The daily wage is obtained when dividing the earnings with the number of calculated days of work included in the review period (5 days per week).

The special review period has an exempt amount of earnings. Only the calculated income that exceeds the exempt amount reduces the benefit.


Maija started a short-term job lasting more than 4 weeks on 17 March. The employer pays the wage once a month. Maija's first wage for the period from 17 March to 31 March was EUR 400 (before taxes). The first time, the adjusted labour market subsidy is paid on the basis of the calculated monthly income.

The calculated monthly income is determined as follows:

Maija's daily wage is EUR 400 / 11 days = EUR 36.36.
The calculated monthly wage is EUR 36.36 x 21.5 = EUR 781.82.
The exempt amount is deducted from the income: EUR 781.82 – EUR 300 = EUR 481.82.

The income that is taken into account in Maija's labour market subsidy is thus EUR 481.82.

Starting a business while unemployed

If you start a business while unemployed, you can still continue to receive an unemployment benefit for another 4 months.

The unemployment benefit is affected by the income from self-employment, which means that the income from self-employment reduces the unemployment benefit. Report the income from self-employment in the unemployment status report.

Exempt amount of earnings

For recipients of an adjusted unemployment benefit, there is an exempt amount of EUR 300. You can earn up to this amount per month before taxes without suffering a reduction in your unemployment benefit. Report your earnings while unemployed to Kela even if they are less than the exempt amount.

The exempt amount is EUR 300 or EUR 279, respectively, depending on whether the review period is one month or 4 weeks.

Advance payment

If waiting for a wage certificate from the employer causes unreasonable delay in the payment of the unemployment benefit, the benefit can be paid in advance according to the income you have yourself reported. Unreasonable delay means about two weeks.

Advance payment is possible when you start receiving adjusted unemployment benefit. If the unemployment benefit can be paid to you according to the regular payment pattern, no advance payment is made.

For the advance payment you must submit the following information to Kela:

  • length of the employment
  • daily working hours
  • gross wage
  • employer's contact details
  • You can use form TT10 (Palkkatodistus). The employer can use the form to report your wage for the payment of the adjusted unemployment benefit.

Laid off temporarily

If you are temporarily laid off for one or more full days per week, the unemployment benefit is not adjusted. Instead the full unemployment benefit is paid for the days of temporary lay-off.

Wage-subsidised work

If you have a wage-subsidised part-time job, you may be entitled to adjusted unemployment benefit.