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Labour Market changes due to Coronavirus

8.4.2020 15:02

Finnish Trade Union Confederations and Employers’ Associations have agreed to propose certain amendments on labour legislation due to the Coronavirus and Covid-19.  The proposal includes remarkable changes for the employees and for the companies for a fixed period. Trade Union Pro’s experts will serve you also during the crisis.

Pro News / Rauni Söderlund

Finnish Trade Union Confederations (STTK, SAK and Akava) and Employers’ Associations (EK and KT) have agreed to propose certain amendments on labour legislation due to the Coronavirus and Covid-19. Finnish Government has accepted the proposal to be presented to Parliament for acceptance.

If and when accepted in Parliament, these changes will be valid for private sector employees for a fixed period only. Length of the period will be confirmed after acceptance of the legislative proposal. The proposal includes remarkable changes for the employees and for the companies.

Some examples in the proposal

Reduce the minimum negotiation times allowed in the event of lay-offs from the current 14 days and 6 weeks to 5 days in both cases.

It is important to note that negotiation times are determined in the Collective Agreements. Collective Agreements include different terms for temporary lay-offs. Unions and employers’ associations may agree on temporary changes on terms and this has been quite widely already used now due to the Coronavirus-situation. All Collective Agreements will not, for different reasons, be amended. Please check your sector’s lay-off times and other terms from your shop steward. They are your first and most important contact point for asking help, information and guidance. You can find more information on temporary lay-offs via this link.

Extend the right to lay-off to cover fixed-term employment contracts to the same extent as for contracts of indefinite duration. Laid-off employees must have the right to unemployment benefits and the right to terminate their fixed-term employment contracts.

Unless otherwise met, the employment condition is 13 weeks for employment that has commenced after 1 January 2020 and ends on 31 December 2020 at the latest.

Cancel the unemployment security deductible period. Layoff periods are not counted towards the maximum period of unemployment security.

Changes in unemployment security take effect retroactively as of 16 March 2020.

The entire content of the proposal can be found in English via this link.

Trade Union Pro’s experts serve you also during the crisis

Employee counselling for members Monday–Friday from 8.30 to 16.00 Tel +358 9 1727 3442

Membership issues and benefits – please use above all e-mail address (telephone service will be very busy but it is open Monday–Friday from 9.00 to 14.00 Tel +358 9 1727 3440, telefax +358 9 1727 3330)

If you will meet a temporary lay-off (or unemployment), it is most important to register at the unemployment office, i.e. TE office, your temporary lay-off (or unemployment) at the latest on the first day of lay-off. That can be most easily done through their electric services

You can get earnings-related unemployment allowance from The unemployment fund Pro, if the applying terms are fulfilled. Pro-fund’s pages in English and in Finnish.

Contact information: Unemployment fund Pro, POB 1 (Työpajankatu 13 A, 00581 Helsinki)

Telephone service Monday-Friday 9.00‒14.00 Tel.: 09 17273 444, telefax 09 17273 335. You can have service also in English.

Electric Services (only in Finnish) for login Käyttäjätunnus (=user name) is your Pro’s member number and Salasana (=password) is your social security number’s four last characters.

As a normal e-mail connection is not a secured channel, Pro-fund can not answer on inquiries containing your private information by e-mail, only by electric services, phone and post.

For full information on the process for earnings-related unemployment allowance, see this link.  

If the applying terms for earnings-related allowance are not met, you can have a basic benefit (without child or other increases on average EUR 724 per month, 21,5 days x EUR 33,66, taxes to be deducted) from Kela.

Kindly note that due to the very exceptional circumstances, unemployment funds will meet great challenges processing all unemployment benefit applications and meeting all other needs of members. Therefore we ask all members sending their benefit applications to Pro-fund to check that all asked information is given. That will ease the process and help fund’s employees to serve the members more rapidly!   

Are you a freelancer or self-employed?

The ministry of economic affairs and employment states on their pages that they are preparing the legal changes needed to temporarily include freelancers and self-employed to unemployment security. The idea is that businesses will be treated as part-time businesses and on that basis individuals will be entitled to unemployment benefit.  (Usually shutting down the business would be required) The amendment doesn’t differentiate between different types of companies and self-declaration by the entrepreneur is sufficient. The amendment to the Unemployment Security Act is of limited duration. The amendments of the law at hand (unemployment security act)  are being drafted by the Ministry of economic affairs and employment.

For more information in English.

Q&A: Coronavirus in Trade Union Pro´s website in Finnish.

Read Questions and Answers about the coronavirus in Pro´s website in English.