Temporary lay-offs due to COVID-19

The coronavirus epidemic is fought with various restrictions and closure measures. These affect the operations of companies, which is why many have been laid off this year and last year. On this page, we have collected key instructions on how to apply for earnings-related daily allowance when you are laid off due to COVID-19.

Tips concerning lay-offs related to COVID-19

  1. Register with the TE Office as a job seeker as soon as you are laid off or made redundant. The TE Office's statement on lay-offs or unemployment is a prerequisite for the payment of daily allowance and cannot take effect retroactively. Submit your registration online at te-palvelut.fi.

  2. Already before the lay-off, ask your employer to report your pay data to the Incomes Register using the detailed reporting method and to submit all voluntary data (if any). In this case, it is highly likely that the information required for calculating your unemployment allowance is directly available to us.

  3. Obtain a tax card for the benefit through the Tax Card Online service. In the same field where you enter the estimated benefit amount, you can state that the General Unemployment Fund YTK is a receiver of your tax information. That way, we will get the information directly from the Tax Administration. This allows us to withhold tax by using the percentages stated directly on the revised tax card. If we are using a tax card that was calculated for wages, the withheld tax is at least 25%. We have received a tax card for wages automatically from the Tax Administration if your membership was valid already last year. Use our daily allowance calculator to estimate the total amount of daily allowance for the entire lay-off period. You can use this information when ordering a new tax card.

  4. When the lay-off or unemployment has lasted for at least two weeks, apply for daily allowance through OmaYTK. The service will guide you in completing the application. If the lay-off or unemployment lasts for less than two weeks, you can submit an application immediately after the lay-off/unemployment ends. Note! Daily allowance is always applied for retroactively, i.e. first no earlier than for two weeks, then retroactively for periods of at least one month or four weeks. You should apply for daily allowance no later than within three months.

  5. If the lay-off or unemployment continues, submit an extension application retroactively every four weeks or every month. Keep in mind that you must apply for daily allowance retroactively no later than within three months. In other words, we cannot pay daily allowance for the time exceeding three months.

  6. If the lay-off is changed from part-time to full-time, apply for daily allowance in the normal rhythm. Notify us of any changes. If you change the application period, it may cause a delay in the daily allowance payments.

  7. Further instructions on applying and on earnings-related daily allowance during lay-off is available here.

Specific questions related to lay-offs related to COVID-19

  • The coronavirus epidemic itself is not grounds for lay-offs. However, the epidemic can cause financial and productional difficulties for the company, making lay-offs possible.

    • If you have not been laid off, you are not sick yourself and you could go to work, but the work is prevented due to an epidemic of infectious diseases, the employer is obliged to pay the salary normally for 14 days. If you are prevented from working after this, you can claim unemployment benefit. To receive the benefit, you must have registered as a job seeker with the TE Office. The TE Office issues a statement for reasons comparable to lay-offs to the payer of the benefit.
    • Find out with your employer and register with the TE Office as soon as work is prevented.
    • Kela may pay an infectious disease allowance when you have been ordered to be absent from work in order to prevent the spread of an infectious disease such as coronavirus. The guardian of a person under the age of 16 is entitled to an infectious disease allowance if the child has been quarantined and therefore the guardian cannot work. For more information, go to the Kela website. 
    • The infectious disease allowance does not prevent the payment of earnings-related unemployment allowance, but it's deducted from the earnings-related allowance to be paid, meaning it's a detectable benefit. This may be the case if you have worked part-time and are quarantined. If you have worked full-time, you cannot in practise receive unemployment benefit for the same period for which you receive the infectious disease allowance.
  • The child's illness is not grounds for paying unemployment benefit. If your employment relationship has not ended or you have not been laid off, there are no grounds for paying the unemployment benefit.​​​​​​​

    • If the TE Office decides to suspend coaching or a work try-out related to the TE Services due to the prevailing circumstances, the TE Office will not make a request for clarification to the job seeker in order to determine the right to unemployment security, and due to the termination of the service, no unpaid waiting period or obligation to work will be applied.
    • We process the application for daily allowance on the basis of a valid statement from the TE Office. If the service is on pause or suspended, the applicant for daily allowance is not entitled to an increase in the earnings-related daily allowance or reimbursement of expenses.
  • The waiting period is applied when the working condition is met and the payment of earnings-related daily allowance begins. As a rule, a new waiting period can not be applied more than once a year.

  • In order to be able to pay earnings-related daily allowance on the basis of the lay-off, the lay-off must be based on the Employment Contracts Act. The managing director of a limited liability company is regulated by the Limited Liability Companies Act, so such a managing director is not subject to the Employment Contracts Act. The managing director of a limited liability company cannot be laid off in accordance with the Employment Contracts Act, so such a lay-off does not entitle them to earnings-related daily allowance.  Of course, it's possible that the "managing director" is only a title, but the position does not fall within the scope of the Limited Liability Companies Act. In such cases, the title "managing director" is not an obstacle to earnings-related daily allowance during lay-offs.

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