The waiting period is a period when you first become unemployed for which you will not receive a daily allowance. The waiting period is a period equivalent to five full working days during which you are registered as an unemployed jobseeker.
What is the waiting period?
When you apply for a daily allowance for the first time after fulfilling the working condition, we can only pay you daily allowance when you have been an unemployed job-seeker for a period that equals five full working days during eight consecutive calendar weeks at the most. That period is called the waiting period.
During the exceptional situation of coronavirus pandemic, we were able to pay you daily allowance for the waiting period in 2020. This exception is no longer valid. Read more.
How is the waiting period calculated?
Weekends are not included in the waiting period. In practice, this means that the five days means weekdays. So, if you apply for daily allowance starting on Wednesday, the five-day waiting period is Wed–Fri and then Mon–Tue in the following week.
If you work part-time or have been laid off to work a shorter working day, we will calculate the waiting period from the difference between your completed working hours and the maximum working hours. This is because the waiting period means five full working days. In these cases, the waiting period may be longer than five calendar days.
The five waiting days must be within at most eight consecutive calendar weeks. Unemployment days from more than eight weeks ago cannot be included in the waiting period. If you have accumulated four days towards the waiting period in the course of eight weeks and get the fifth day in week nine, this means that you still have only four days for the waiting period. The day you got in week one can no longer be counted towards the waiting period.
Completing the waiting period in part-time work
If you are fully unemployed, it is easy to understand how the waiting period is completed: each day you are unemployed means one full day that can be counted towards the waiting period. In five days, you have completed your waiting period.
If you are working part-time, however, the situation is more complicated, because we have to calculate the waiting period in hours. We do this because we need to know when you have been unemployed for a period equivalent to five full working days.
For example: if in your field a full-time employee’s working hours are eight hours per day, the time that corresponds to five full working days is 40 hours (5x8=40). In this case, if you work four hours per day as a part-time employee, the time that can be counted towards the waiting period from one day is four hours, or half a day. This is the time you have been unemployed that day.
To complete an unemployment period that equals five full working days – 40 hours in this case – you will need ten days. This means ten days of 4-hour working days as a part-time worker to accumulate 40 hours of unemployment, the same as a full-time worker in five days.
The number of hours required depends on what the maximum working time is in your sector. Typically, it is 37.5 or 40 hours per week.
Waiting period and obstacles to payment
The waiting period cannot include days on which you do not fulfil the labour policy requirements. So, if you are not unemployed or your job-seeking is not valid, you are not using your waiting period.
In addition, the waiting period cannot include any days for which you have been set a suspension period. That is a period without benefits.
Furthermore, the waiting period cannot include any time when there is another general obstacle to paying a daily allowance. This includes cases when you are incapable of working or you are getting paid for a notice period.
Can there be a second waiting period?
The waiting period is set once per one maximum payment period of earnings-related daily allowance. This means that if you become unemployed again and you still have days left in your previous maximum payment period, you will not have a new waiting period.
You will have a second waiting period when you fulfil the working condition again and your maximum payment period starts over.
There is an exception to this rule. If your new maximum payment period would start less than one year from the beginning of the previous maximum payment period and you already had a waiting period at the beginning of the previous daily allowance period, you will not have a second waiting period.
In general, you are only set one waiting period per year.
Cases where you do not complete the five-day waiting period in eight consecutive calendar weeks are exceptions to this. An example of such a case is if you are laid off only for short periods at a time. Then it is possible that the waiting period may start again within a year.