YTK is concerned about the payment of daily allowance

YTK submitted today a statement to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in which we warn that within the framework of the current legislation YTK will be unable to process the large number of lay-offs realised over a short period of time without unreasonable delays.

Processing of applications is the bottleneck of the system

Last week we sent an inquiry to you, our members, and received more than 60,000 responses in one day. The results were in line with our worries: more than 270,000 members of YTK are currently at risk of unemployment. Based on the results, we expect to receive over 100,000 applications for daily allowance in the near future.

Applications for daily allowance are processed manually. It is not possible to increase the necessary number of processing staff at a short notice. At the same time, we are living in conditions with a continuous risk that employees of YTK will fall ill. Typically we process around 40,000–50,000 first-time applications per year. So now we are facing the workload of two years in one month. In addition, there are 130,000 further and adjustment applications per month.

Thus the primary problem in the payment of unemployment benefit is not the sufficiency of money but the fact that the benefit applications can’t be processed and, consequently, money can’t be paid out quickly enough.

The Chancellor of Justice pointed out last week in his address at the Government plenary session that the situation endangers the constitutional right to receive social security without undue delay. The Chancellor of Justice expects the Government to take special measures to solve the situation. So do we.

Solution can’t be found by adjusting the details

A number of amendments to the Unemployment Security Act are currently being prepared. They will secure the quicker access of laid off employees to employment benefits. Although the proposal are good, they will nevertheless increase the manual work in the payment process and thus make the backlog of payments even worse. So the proposed measures will not solve the problem related to the payment of benefits.

An amendment to the law in the sector of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment was passed on 30 March 2020 by which the labour-policy conditions of laid off employees need not be examined. That solution considerably decreased the workload of the TE Offices and provided an opportunity to make it through mass lay-offs. A similar solution is now needed for the payers of unemployment benefits.

YTK’s proposals for a solution

YTK has proposed already in earlier discussions with the decision-makers that a system used in many other countries be introduced in which the employer would continue to pay part of the salary and the state would reimburse that. So the money would be distributed through the salary payment systems.

Another proposal by the YTK was to determine for a the duration of the state of emergency a specific daily allowance for laid off employees the grounds for which could be extracted directly from the Incomes Register. It involves some practical problems, but it would enable smoother processing of applications and quicker payment of benefits.

We rely on our own expertise even at hard times

We have worked at YTK for over three weeks to solve the challenges of the approaching flood of applications as efficiently as it is possible within the present system. We have recruited and are planning to familiarise new employees, we have developed the processing tools and forwarded customer communication in all of our channels. The first 14 new employees are starting on 1 April.

We know that the coming months will be hard for all of us. I am fully confident about the competence and will of the YTK personnel to do all they can for our customers. I also wish to thank all of our customers for your understanding and encouraging messages you are sending on a daily basis.

Fortunately we are going towards the summer. The light and warmth will certainly give us more strength. Keep up the fighting spirit everyone!

Sanna Alamäki.

YTK’s statement 31 March 2020
Sanna Alamäki, Managing Director