A combination of part-time work and adjusted earnings-related daily allowance can help with work transitions - "This is a good temporary system"
When working part-time, you can get additional financial support from the earnings-related allowance, which is adjusted each month according to the amount of work you earn. For Pekka Heinola, the adjusted daily allowance has provided security in the transition phase of his working life.
"I was in the construction industry for 30 years, but then it came to the finish line. It was a summer job, long days and only Saturday off. In the end, I felt that this was it," says Pekka Heinola, who lives in Muhos, recalling his resignation about five years ago.
But Heinola didn't ponder for long and went to work part-time delivering the morning mail. Soon he was also working as a personal assistant, also on a part-time basis.
For a year he worked two shifts at the same time, until the combination became too much. At the same time, his 6-year-old son moved in with him, so he had to give up his night job.
Part-time work is always more profitable than unemployment
However, Pekka Heinola still works as a personal assistant, about 80% of the time. He has registered as an unemployed jobseeker, so he receives some additional income from the adjusted daily allowance.
The amount of the adjusted daily allowance varies each month, depending on how much work Heinola does and how much he earns. If the hourly limits for the adjusted daily allowance were exceeded, no benefit would be paid.
"If part-time work accounts for more than 80% of the working time of a full-time worker, the adjusted daily allowance is not paid," says Petja Eklund, a special expert at the YTK.
In months when the workload is less than 80%, the salary and the daily allowance are adjusted together. In simple terms, this means that the salary for part-time work is supplemented by the adjusted daily allowance. However, the total is always less than the full-time salary. In addition to the hourly limits, there is an upper limit above which the adjusted daily allowance is not paid.
"The unemployment benefit system is designed so that full-time work is always more profitable than a combination of part-time work and adjusted daily allowance - and this combination is always more profitable than full unemployment," says Eklund.
Part-time work and adjusted daily allowance keep you in the work life
"Because people's daily lives are affected by more than just wages and unemployment benefits, reality can sometimes be a little harder to predict," Eklund admits. "For example, daycare fees and commuting expenses affect the economy. So sometimes the combination of part-time work and adjusted daily allowance is only nominally more profitable than unemployment benefit alone."
This does not mean that part-time work is not worthwhile. Indeed, it is. Indeed, part-time work has been shown to have a significant impact on future employment prospects.
"It is definitely easier to find a job when you are already in employment. A large number of jobs are transferred internally and it is easier to be creative in the labour market when you are already in work," says Petja Eklund.
Pekka Heinola agrees. The combination of an adjusted daily allowance and part-time work has helped him through the transition phases of his working life.
" Adjusted daily allowance is a really good system for temporary work. It has given me the courage to be a bit more daring in my working life. All the time I have been doing something that is important."
Adjusted daily allowance lasts longer than full daily allowance
The unemployment fund calculates the adjusted daily allowance separately each month, as hours and income vary. As a result, there can sometimes be a delay in the payment of the adjusted daily allowance.
"There have been no problems applying, even though I changed employers once. I have submitted the necessary attachments and the daily allowance has arrived within a couple of weeks," says Pekka Heinola.
The adjusted daily allowance only reduces the duration of the earnings-related allowance in proportion to the hours worked. From this point of view too, there is no reason to be afraid of taking up part-time work.
"For example, if you work 50% part-time, your earnings-related allowance will be used up half as slowly as if you were completely unemployed. For example, instead of 400 days, the adjusted daily allowance can then be paid for 800 days," says Petja Eklund, pointing out that holiday pay also affects the daily allowance.
"If you receive holiday pay during part-time work, this will also be taken into account when adjusting the daily allowance," says Eklund.
Only by registering as an unemployed jobseeker can you receive the adjusted daily allowance
But wait a minute? If you quit your job, the unemployment benefit system sets a 3-month waiting period before you can claim unemployment benefits. However, Pekka Heinola did not receive a waiting period, even though he himself quit his job at the Post Office. Why is this?
"The Labour Market Authority makes the decisions on the waiting period. A waiting period is triggered if you resign without a valid reason. The valid reasons are listed in the Unemployment Insurance Act and the authority has a wide margin of discretion to apply them," says Petja Eklund.
He encourages you to always talk to the employment services in advance if you are about to resign.
"There are many paths forward built into the unemployment insurance system and it is worth assessing them for yourself before you do anything rash," Eklund continues, reminding that if you are applying for an adjusted daily allowance, it is important that you have registered with the TE services as an unemployed jobseeker and are ready to accept full-time work.