Amendments to the law concerning the obligations of unemployed job-seekers
On Thursday, 23 April 2020, the Government presented to Parliament a proposal on amendments that will reduce the obligations of unemployed job-seekers during the coronavirus epidemic.
The proposed amendments would reduce the obligations of job-seekers, which would also cut down the duties of TE Offices and provide them with more resources to manage the congestion caused by the coronavirus epidemic.
- The maximum duration of startup grant would be extended temporarily by six months. Thus startup grant could be given for a maximum of 18 months. The amendment would be temporary and would remain in force until 30 June 2021.
- The first interview for a job-seeker would be arranged within two weeks from the beginning of the job-seeking only when the TE Office would deem it appropriate. The amendment would be temporary and would remain in force until 30 June 2021.
- Failure to provide the necessary information for evaluating the need for services and prepare an employment plan draft which are required in the online service of the TE Office in conjunction with the measures related to initiating the job-seeking would not result in termination of the validity of job-seeking. The amendment would be temporary and would remain in force until 30 June 2021.
- The job-seeker’s right to receive unemployment benefit would continue without being hindered by short-term studies referred to in the Unemployment Security Act, even if the studies were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The amendment would be temporary and would remain in force until 31 December 2020.
- The provision of the Unemployment Security Act that concerns losing the unemployment benefit due to failure to implement an employment plan would not be applied. The amendment would be temporary and would remain in force until 31 July 2020.
- It would be prescribed in the Unemployment Security Act that the job-seeker also has a valid reason to interrupt the service due to a reason arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The amendment would be temporary and would remain in force until 31 July 2020.
The proposed amendments are good and appropriate. They will make the life of unemployed and laid off people easier in a situation in which the effects of the coronavirus epidemic extend to almost all areas of life. In practice, the amendments require nothing or very little from the job-seekers if the amendments enter into force. But the job-seekers need to be alert when the validity of the temporary provisions expires.