Changes to jobseekers’ obligations on 2 May

On 2 May 2022, TE Offices and municipalities participating in the experiment will introduce a new labour market service model. In the new model, jobseekers are given more autonomy and individual support at an earlier stage of the job search. Sanctions related to unemployment security will also be relaxed and staggered.

More intensive job search discussions

In the new model, jobseekers are arranged an initial interview with the TE Office or participating municipality as early as five days after the start of the job search. During the first three months, discussions are held with the jobseeker every two weeks. After this, the job search discussions continue every three months as in the current model. After the unemployment has continued for six months, a new one-month period will be arranged for the jobseeker during which they attend two additional job search discussions.

The number of job search discussions can be reduced, for example, when the unemployment lasts for a very short period of time or the person is laid off temporarily, in part-time work or attending certain employment promoting services.

Emphasis on autonomy in job search

In the new model, jobseekers are required to apply to four jobs per month. As a general rule, jobseekers choose which jobs to apply for and report the applied jobs independently to the TE Office or municipality. The TE Office or municipality can continue to give job offers, but whether or not these are binding depends on whether the person has otherwise met their job search obligation. 

The number of places to be applied for can be lower on a case-by-case basis if the TE Office or municipality considers that it is not possible to apply for four jobs per month. The number of jobs to be applied for can also be reduced if the person is laid of temporarily or in part-time work or studies.

Staggering and relaxing of sanctions

Unpaid suspension periods resulting from a quitting your job, self-caused termination of employment and refusal to accept offered work are reduced from the previous 60 or 90 days to 45 days. On the other hand, sanctions related to job search obligations, job search discussions, the employment plan and employment promoting services will be staggered as follows:

  • 1st violation in 12 months, no sanctions
  • 2nd violation in 12 months, 7-day suspension period
  • 3rd violation in 12 months, 14-day suspension period
  • 4th violation in 12 months, 12-week obligation to work until the right to unemployment allowance is restored.

The new labour market service model also introduces reminders which the TE Office or municipality will send to the jobseeker if, for example, the jobseeker has not made efforts to follow their employment plan. The purpose of the reminder is to ensure that the jobseeker knows how to apply for jobs and what is required of them so that they can continue receiving an unemployment allowance. However, the reminder has no effect on the payment of unemployment allowance or address the jobseeker’s conduct but is advisory in nature.