Frequently Asked Questions about the Activation Model

The Act on the Activation Model for Unemployment Security entered into force 1 January 2018. On this page, you can find frequently asked questions about the model and answers to these questions. You can find an even more comprehensive answer package on the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health website.
Frequently asked questions on the activation model for unemployment security (stm.fi)

What does the activation model mean?

The activation model means that, as an unemployed jobseeker, you need to fulfil the so called activity requirement within the 65-day review period of receiving unemployment benefit so that the benefit will be paid in full for the 65 days following the review period as well (approximately 3 months). If the activity requirement is not met, your unemployment benefit will be reduced by 4.65 per cent for the next review period. The reduction corresponds to one day per month compensated for by the jobseeker.

What is the task of the TE Office in the activation model?

The tasks of the TE Office (Employment and Economic Development Office) have not changed due to the activation model. The TE Office does not participate in the monitoring of the activation model.

The TE Office will provide information services to help find employment and inform you how you can access these services. The TE Office will make a service needs assessment with you to determine your need for services promoting employment. For some services, the TE Office decides independently whether you can participate in a service promoting employment or receive unemployment benefits based on it. In addition to your service needs, access to employment and business services are limited by the labour policy discretion of the TE Office and the allocated funding available.

The TE Office will also provide you with information about other services and activities promoting employment organised by the TE Office. For further information, see:
Services that promote employment and expense allowance 

Based on the information you provided in the application for labour market subsidy, basic unemployment allowance or earnings-related unemployment allowance, the payers of the employment benefit, i.e. Kela or your unemployment fund, will monitor whether the requirements of the activation model are fulfilled for you.

What do I have to do in practice to maintain my unemployment benefit as it is?

To keep your unemployment benefit unchanged as an unemployed jobseeker, during the review period you need to either

  • perform 18 hours of paid work (The wage must in accordance with the relevant collective bargaining agreement. If there is no such agreement, further details on the required minimum wage will be provided by the payer of your unemployment benefit.)
  • earn in self-employment a total of at least 23 per cent of the monthly earnings requirement for a self-employed person to be entitled to basic unemployment allowance in 2018: EUR 241) or 
  • participate in five days of employment-promoting services by the TE Office

Any combination of the abovementioned ways to demonstrate activation cannot be used. This means that the activation requirement must be fulfilled by either working or by participating in services promoting employment but not both.

For more detailed information, see the payers’ websites:
Frequently asked questions about the activation model (kela.fi) 
Activity requirement (tyj.fi) 

Who does the activation model concern?

The activation model concerns most jobseekers. The activation model does not apply to jobseekers who

  • are receiving benefits granted due to incapacity to work or disability
  • are working as informal caregivers or family carers
  • have applied for disability pension and are waiting for a decision

Inform the payer of your benefit of this kind of situation without delay.

For more detailed information, see the payers’ websites:
Frequently asked questions about the activation model (kela.fi) 
Activity requirement (tyj.fi) 

Will the activation model enter into force retroactively?

It will not. Your activity as an unemployed jobseeker will not be monitored at all in 2017. Monitoring begins 1 January 2018, and the first decisions potentially concerning reduced unemployment benefit will be given in practice in April 2018.

Can the unemployment benefit decrease each time by a further 4.65 per cent with each review period?

It cannot. Unemployment benefit cannot be reduced by more than 4.65 per cent of the normal level. After this, the unemployment benefit will either remain unchanged or rise to the normal level in the following review periods.

To whom should I demonstrate my activeness?

Activeness is monitored by the payer of unemployment benefit, i.e. Kela (labour market benefit and basic unemployment allowance) or unemployment fund (earnings-related unemployment benefit). 
The TE Office does not monitor activeness. Your unemployment benefit payer will provide you with further information about demonstrating and monitoring activeness.

Frequently asked questions about the activation model (kela.fi) 
Activity requirement (tyj.fi) 

How can I search for jobs through the TE Office?

All available positions reported on our website:
Available jobs 

What services are included in services promoting employment in the activation model?

Services promoting employment include independent study supported with unemployment benefit, the self-motivated studies, labour market training, job search training and career coaching intended in Sections 22-24 of the Act on the Promotion of Immigrant Integration and rehabilitative work activities.

In the activation model, the activity requirement is also fulfilled by other type of services or activities organised by the TE Office promoting prospects of becoming employed. Such services include work coaching, career and vocational guidance and some of the local outsourced services of the TE Offices. A recruitment trial may also fulfil the activity requirement. The fulfilment of the activity requirement is assessed by the payer of the unemployment benefit, i.e. Kela or your unemployment fund. The TE Office does not assess activeness.

If I cannot find employment, how can I seek employment-promoting services?

Information about services promoting employment and how to apply for them can be found on the webpage of each service.

What happens if, despite my best effort, I don't find employment or get access to TE Office services during the review period?

In this case, your unemployment benefit is reduced by 4.65 per cent for the following 65 payment days, i.e. about three months. Access to TE Office service is always assessed based on service needs, which means that there is no change in policy due to the act concerning the activation model. To discuss advancing your employment situation, you can also leave a contact request on the Oma asiointi (My services) website or call our national telephone service.

Oma asiointi 
Telephone service for personal customers 

Is it true that the waiting period is now shortened to five days?

Yes, it is. With the activation model, the unpaid waiting period in the beginning of unemployment is shortened from seven days to five for those whose waiting period starts 1 January 2018 or later.

For more information about the activation model, see the websites of the unemployment benefit payers and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health:
Frequently asked questions about the activation model (kela.fi) 
Activity requirement (tyj.fi) 
Contact details for unemployment funds (tyj.fi) 
Frequently asked questions on the activation model for unemployment security (stm.fi) 
Activation model for unemployment security (stm.fi)