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Tue, 19 Apr, 2016 12:01:29 AM
Unemployment benefit reform
FTimes – STT Report, Apr 19
 
Justice and Labour Minister Jari Lindström on Monday introduced the unemployment benefit reform at a press conference in Helsinki on Monday. Photo Lehtikuva.
Unemployed persons may have to take work in a field outside their own expertise, once the government’s planned reforms to the unemployment benefits come into force.
 
Justice and Labour Minister Jari Lindström on Monday introduced the unemployment benefit reform at a press conference. The government’s package includes a large number of restrictions on unemployment benefits.
 
According to Lindström, taking jobs outside one’s own field of expertise is one way in which the tightening of obligations for unemployment benefits could work. The intention is not, however, in his view, to eliminate occupational protection altogether.
 
The provision of work outside one’s own field will be on a case-by-case basis. It will be based on whether the unemployed has found work within their own field within three months, according to Ministry of Employment and the Economy Senior Adviser Päivi Kerminen. 
 
“We’re going to use discretion here. This will not be formulaic but based rather on individual cases,” Kerminen said.
 
An unemployed person would also no longer be able to refuse full-time work simply because unemployment insurance is higher than salary and expenses accrued by the acceptance of work. At the beginning of unemployment, the Employment Office could provide work outside of the unemployed person’s field, if there is no work available in that field.
 
Unemployed person is lokking for job at the employment office website. File Photo Lehtikuva.
The location of employment could also entail travelling in the future. The daily trip to work could take on average no more than three hours, if the work is full-time. If an unemployed person has ones’ own car, then it would be used for travelling to work outside the commuting area.
 
The unemployed will be expected to take more active measures in finding employment. As a rule, the unemployed will have to accept employment if it is offered to him or her. If the unemployed person refuses a confirmed job, then a 90-day waiting period for benefits will be imposed. The current waiting period is 60 days.
 
In the future, unemployment benefits should be used to promote employment, for example, the financing of start-up grants, wage subsidies and mobility grants.
 
The amendments are scheduled to enter into force at the beginning of 2017.
 
The government’s goal is to raise the employment rate from the current 68 per cent to 72 per cent. The package presented on Monday is expected to create about 15,000 jobs.
 
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