Labour policy requirements in exceptional circumstances

The TE Office will not examine the labour policy requirements of people laid off on or after 16 March 2020. The amendment does not apply to people who were laid off before this date or who are completely unemployed. People who are laid off must still register with the TE Office as unemployed jobseekers. People who are laid off are also obliged to take up employment offered by their own employer. The amendments will be valid until 31 July 2020.
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There are also other temporary changes that apply to everyone. The process of registering with an employment agency, for example, has been made easier.

Emergency measures affecting laid-off workers

Entry into force

  • Issued to Parliament on 26 March 2020
  • Approved in Parliament on 30 March 2020
  • Signed by the President on 31 March 2020
  • Valid from 16 March 2020 to 31 December 2020

Even in exceptional circumstances, you must register as an unemployed jobseeker at the TE Office. However, if you were laid off and the lay-off began on or after 16 March 2020, the TE Office will not, temporarily, examine your labour policy requirements.

In practice, this means that for people who are laid off between 16 March 2020 and 31 December 2020, there will be no reason based on the labour policy not to pay the benefit. The amendment only applies those laid off on or after 16 March 2020. It does not apply to those who are unemployed and those laid off before that date. If the lay-off continues on 31 December 2020, the TE Office will examine the labour policy requirements as usual.

From 16 March 2020 to 31 December 2020, the TE Office will not, temporarily, examine whether the following situations apply to you if you are laid off under the exceptional circumstances

  • You apply for full-time work
  • You carry out other work outside your employment agreement
  • Your entrepreneur activities or self-employment
  • You become an entrepreneur or self-employed
  • You stop working as an entrepreneur
  • You stop working as a self-employed person's family member
  • You close down your own business
  • You stop being self-employed
  • You are studying
  • You are studying short-term
  • You finish full-time studying
  • Your obligation to submit a joint application as a young person without professional qualifications
  • You replace the obligation to apply for training with other measures
  • You have a valid reason not to apply for a place of study or to drop out of studies
  • Your entitlement to unemployment security as a young person without quantifications is restored
  • You turn down job offers
  • You turn down job offers without a valid reason
  • You turn down job offers on the basis of regional mobility
  • You turn down job offers from abroad
  • The end of your occupational immunity
  • You fail to attend a meeting to prepare your employment plan
  • You refuse to prepare an employment plan
  • You fail to implement your employment plan
  • You turn down a service
  • You fail to continue with your service
  • You refuse from or fail to continue your service without a valid reason
  • You repeatedly behave in a way that is against labour policy

Universal emergency measures

Enacted by Government Proposal 58/2020

  • Presented to the Parliament of Finland on 23 April 2020

  • Approved by the Parliament on 30 April 2020

  • Effective from 16 March 2020 until 31 December 2020

While the emergency measures are in place, first-time job seekers will only be interviewed if an interview is deemed necessary by the competent TE Office. However, TE Offices are striving to carry out subsequent periodic interviews at three-month intervals as normal. This applies until 31 December 2020.

Failing to complete a needs-assessment questionnaire on TE Services’ website or to submit a proposal of an employment plan will not invalidate a job seeker’s status while the emergency measures are in place. This applies retroactively from 16 March 2020 until 31 December 2020.

Failing to comply with an employment plan or similar set up by the competent TE Office or dropping out of a programme designed to improve a job seeker’s chances of finding a job will not lead to a loss of unemployment benefits either, as long as the job seeker can prove that their failure to complete the programme was due to COVID-19. This applies until 31 December 2020.

Individuals who had enrolled on a short educational programme within the meaning of the Unemployment Benefits Act but whose studies have ended up taking longer than the six-month ceiling due to COVID-19 will also be able to apply for unemployment benefits. This applies until 31 December 2020.

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