Your unemployment security rights are determined by the EU’s social security legislation. The most pivotal EU decrees that are applied to your unemployment security rights include:
- the basic decree on coordinating the social security systems (883/2004)
- and the enforcement decree that specifies it (987/2009).
In addition to EU countries, also Switzerland and EEA countries Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein follow these decrees.
The country of employment principle
As a rule, your employment is insured for unemployment always in the country where you work. Most EU/EEA countries have a general unemployment insurance, so you already are automatically unemployment insured in that country based on your employment there. Sweden, Finland and Denmark have a voluntary unemployment insurance system handled by unemployment funds. In these countries, the employee must become a member of an unemployment fund to belong under earnings security. Please notice that you should join a Swedish or a Danish unemployment fund immediately at the beginning of your employment.
Exceptions in the country of employment principle
In certain exceptional circumstances the employment is not insured in the country of employment. In the following cases, your unemployment insurance is not transferred with you to the country of employment:
- If you work as an official under Finnish government, you remain under Finnish unemployment security even when working abroad. This is because the legislation of the country, for which they are working to, is applied to officials.
- If you leave to work in service of the EU, you can choose, when signing the work contract, whether or not you transfer to the unemployment security of your new country of employment. This right to decide can only be used once. You must notify the Finnish Centre for Pensions about making this kind of a contract. A person, who has used the right to decide in favor of Finland, belongs under the Finnish unemployment security also during the employment.
- If you are a sent employee from Finland, you still belong under the Finnish unemployment security and are a member of a Finnish unemployment fund.
- If you work on a ship sailing under an EU/EEA country’s or Switzerland’s flag and you live in the country, where your employer resides as well and from where your salary is being paid from, you belong under the unemployment security of your country of residence.
- If you live in another country than the country of your last employment, you belong under the unemployment security of your country of employment only if you are unemployed partially or from time to time (for example a part time employee or you are laid off). After you become completely unemployed when your employment ends, you belong under the unemployment security of your country of residence. In these circumstances you can also register as an unemployed job-seeker in your country of employment, but the unemployment daily allowance is paid from the country of residence. However, if you no longer return to your country of residence, you can apply for unemployment daily allowance in your last country of employment. The country, in which you live permanently, is seen as your country of residence.
- If you live in Finland and work in two or more countries, you still remain under the Finnish unemployment security if a significant portion of the work (25 per cent or more) takes place in Finland. This group includes for example the travelling staff of a transportation company (flight staff and truckers).
- Even if you do not perform a significant portion of your work in your country of residence Finland, you belong under Finnish unemployment security, if you work for multiple employers, of which at least two’s home or business is situated in another member state and not one employer’s home or place of business is in your country of residence Finland.
- You also belong under the unemployment security of your country of residence Finland, if you are employed in two or more EU/EEA countries or in Switzerland for an employer who is situated outside the EU. Also in this situation it is not required that a significant portion of your employment takes place in your country of residence Finland.
- Flight staff belongs under the unemployment security of the country, where their home station is situated.
The waiting period might have run out already in another country. For this reason, the possible daily allowance paid in another country and the waiting period must be reported to the Finnish unemployment fund. Work done in another EU/EEA country or in Switzerland then again can accumulate the work history preconditions of additional day rights and the increased earnings-related portion. However, employment abroad is not counted towards the work history upon which alternation leave is based on.
The effects of employment in another EU/EEA country or in Switzerland on the fulfillment of the employment condition
When you return to Finland after the employment, the periods of insurance and employment in another EU/ EEA country or in Switzerland can be read into the employment condition in Finland, if certain conditions are met. For us to count the employment into the employment condition in Finland:
- Taking the work into account in the Finnish income security system requires firstly that you have been a member of an unemployment fund also in the other country, if they have a voluntary unemployment fund system. Sweden and Denmark have a similar voluntary unemployment fund system as Finland. Working in Sweden and Denmark can thus only be taken into account, as a rule, if you have been a member of a local voluntary unemployment fund and have paid the membership fees.
- Accepting the employment requires a four week employment in Finland in a work that fulfills the employment condition, immediately prior to your unemployment (work condition). The employment does not have to be continuous. The employment read into the employment condition and the four week work condition have to fit within the 28 month examination period.
- Taking the employment periods into account also requires that you have become a member of a Finnish unemployment fund within a month from when your unemployment insurance in the country of employment has ended (the time limit set on transferring the unemployment insurance). For Nordic returning immigrants, this time limit is eight weeks.
- It is also required that you deliver your Finnish unemployment fund a PD U1 form. You need to ask for the form from the authorities of the country of employment. Unfortunately, we cannot view any other certificate about the employment as sufficient (employment certificate/salary certificate).
The four week employment is not required if you are
- A completely unemployed employee who has not lived in the country of their latest employment
- A Nordic returning immigrant under the returning entitlement
- A sent employee
Nordic returning immigrant
When returning to Finland from the Nordic countries, you are within the returning entitlement if during the five years prior to your return you have belonged under the Finnish unemployment security legislation (worked in Finland or received unemployment benefits from Finland). For a Nordic immigrant, the employment can be read into the employment condition without the four week work condition. Also, a longer, eight week time limit is applied to Nordic returning immigrants when transferring the unemployment insurance from one country to another.
The salary, upon which the daily allowance is based on
As a rule, the salary definition is always made from work income received from Finland regardless that employment periods from another EU/EEA country or Switzerland might have been read into the employment condition.
If you have lived in some other country than in the country of your last employment, the salary definition is done exceptionally from income received in that last country of employment. However, if you have last worked in Finland, your salary definition is made from income earned in Finland.
The effect of social benefits paid from another EU/EEA country or from Switzerland
The benefits or incomes paid from another EU/EEA country or from Switzerland have the same effect per se, as similar benefits and incomes paid in Finland. As a rule, social security benefits are parallel to similar benefits in Finland, as benefits that hinder or lessen the amount of daily allowance.
There is an exception to this main rule, which is that a disability pension paid according to the legislation of another country is always a benefit that is deducted from the amount of daily allowance. When paid from Finland, a pension based on full disability to work would be a hindrance for the payment of earnings-related daily allowance.