What we are doing to relieve the congestion?
The number of new applications for daily allowance received by us in April was over 10 times the number compared to last year. The big change in the number of applications happened so quickly that despite our anticipation the processing times have extended. The employment legislation was also amended to speed up the implementation of lay-offs. The amendments were good, but they shortened the time for us to prepare for the effects of the coronavirus crisis. We began to prepare for a large volume of applications at the turn of February and March. We have six tactics to respond to the increased amount of work:
- We have hired more than one hundred new employees
The most important measures in the processing of applications were doubling the number of staff and induction of new employees through remote connection. In normal conditions, induction takes 6 months – now we managed to condense it to around one month. The new employees are gradually getting up to speed, and at the same time employees doing the induction can return to the processing of applications.
- We have developed our online services
Another major change was a new version of OmaYTK for faster processing of applications in which you can retrieve your income information from the Incomes Register to the application and supplement it by yourself. The use of automation considerable speeds up the processing, as most of the information is already in place.
- We have developed new tools. We will tell you more when the service is ready for use.
- We have switched largely to remote working to prevent falling ill and to ensure our operating capacity.
- We have increased communication to our customers
- We have affected the legislation
We are picking up speed and there is light ahead
Through these measures we have so far processed three times more applications than we normally do. The situation is nevertheless unfortunate for those members who are still waiting for their money. However, the gigantic development steps taken will result in improved service and efficiency in the future, when the measures gain full effect.
The congestion is still on, but we expect the queues to begin to get shorter within the next few weeks. Our customer service has already got through the worst of it. At the longest you had to wait for over two weeks for an answer to your messages. Now we can answer within a couple of days.
We process around 2,500 applications per day. At the same time, new applications keep coming in, and earlier applications wait for processing. We process them in the order of arrival, by type of application. At present we are working on a big peak of applications that arrived in late April, and as a result the queue will continue to grow longer for some time. We estimate that at its longest the queue will be 45 days.
We are aware of our inadequacy and are sorry that our members now have to wait for their daily allowance.
We operate with the framework of the law
The biggest slowing factor during the spring was the numerous amendments to the law. While the amendments in themselves were good, they required system development, training of employees, and advising of customers. The time spent on those decreases the time spent on the processing of applications. We hope that the situation will now stabilise, and we can focus on paying the daily allowance.
We have received a lot of positive and encouraging feedback through our member questionnaires, customer service, and social media. Thank you for that! During the spring we have actively and openly informed you about topical issues – also the difficult ones, as, according to the feedback, most of our members think that it is positive and useful.
We also understand that waiting for the daily allowance is painful and nerve-racking – we are also people here behind the screens and programs and know that bills need to be paid and the family needs to be fed. According to a survey among our members, the situation remains reasonable for most of you. We would like to thank you all for your patience. Let’s take on all legal means to beat the coronavirus epidemic – we will get through this together!