Did you find an interesting work opportunity a little further away? The long commute would take several hours of your day. It isn’t at all uncommon that commuting takes an hour and a half each morning and evening. A commuting employee brings the necessary tax proceeds to their home town. Juha Sipilä’s government knows this as well and has proposed that unemployment funds and the SII start paying a new benefit, mobility allowance, to those who commute to work, starting from the beginning of the year 2017.
The purpose of the mobility allowance is to encourage accepting a job further away than receiving unemployment benefits would otherwise require. The mobility allowance might perhaps encourage widening the job search on a larger area. The amount of mobility allowance would be equal to basic daily allowance without any increases and it would be paid a maximum of 60 days from the beginning of the employment. The mobility allowance could be used to commuting or expenses from a move, if the person moves because of the new job, or other expenses that are caused by accepting the job. There are no limitations proposed for the usage of the mobility allowance. Mobility allowance should be applied for before the beginning of the employment. Mobility allowance would be paid to a person who
- is entitled to unemployment benefits,
- accepts a job that lasts at least 2 months and where the weekly working hours are at least 18 hours per week and
- whose commute in full-time employment is altogether over 3 hours per day and in part-time employment altogether over 2 hours per day.
The location of the work place is not important. The daily duration of the commute is relevant, as it is often of bigger importance in accepting employment. The number of available employments and traffic communications vary a lot in different parts of Finland. The duration of the commute changing during the employment, for example when the person moves closer to the work place, would have no effect to paying the mobility allowance. When calculating the time spent on the commute also exchanging transportation and waiting for transportation would be taken into account. However, the time that is spent on taking the children to the day care, for example, is not taken into consideration.
The government’s proposal of the mobility allowance is now being handled by the parliament. If the proposal is accepted, mobility allowance can be applied for from the unemployment fund in 2017. The application form and more information on applying for the mobility allowance will be available on our website closer to the end of the year.