Reform: you will need to become “active and independent” to continue to get you full unemployment benefits

unemployedFact: The Government proposes changes to the Law on Unemployment Security and thus wants to encourage unemployed job seekers to become active and independent in finding employment throughout their unemployment. The proposal relates to the state budget for 2018 and is intended to be discussed in connection with it. The Government submitted a proposal to Parliament on Tuesday, 19 September. The amendments are due to enter into force on 1 January 2018.

The aim of the proposal is said to be to increase employment by 8,000 person-years. The job seeker’s activity would be examined every 65 days of unemployment. Unemployment benefits would remain normal if a job seeker was active, for example, if s/he had worked for three working days during the 65 payment days. If not, there would be a deduction, which would be made both from earnings-related allowance, labor market support and basic allowance. Fulfilling the activity requirements would be possible in many different ways, such as working in the field of paid employment, entrepreneurship or participation in employment promotion services ( among other things, labor market training, self study and work experience).

The aim of the model is said to be to prevent long-term unemployment.

Comment: we are not stupid and can calculate. According to the State statistics office, In July 2017, the number of unemployed persons was 207,000. At the same time, there were 36 800 job vacancies. When 20 000 of these job vacancies are quite difficult to fill due to special requirements in terms of qualifications, it is not easy for a large majority of unemployed people to find a job. So they are going to be be parked in some training or get a “free job experience” in order not to lose their unemployment benefits, instead of looking.  The aim of the model is to show that the government is trying to do something about employment… Sure, it is done in all countries, because it is well-known that unemployed people are unemployed because they don’t look seriously for jobs, isn’t it?

Maybe instead jobs should be created, our old people need a better care at home or in institutions, more personal assistants  for handicapped people are needed in Finland, and we would prefer to have more manned gas stations instead of automatic machines, more staff in trains so that we could pay our ticket to a real person and have more security and human interaction,  more people in the bank’s offices so that we could meet somebody to discuss when we need, and our mail deliveries  all week and not only 3 days a week, as it is now……

Categories: Economy, Government, Social

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2 replies

  1. My personal experience is that I found throughout my whole life jobs by asking for it and explaning my scills and what I could do for that company. I allways found a good job although it was not advertised or in other ways published. There are many jobs out there which are not published at all.
    So this concept is very useful to get people back to work step by step.


  2. Firstly; “8,000 person-years”. Did you mean to say 8,000 persons per year?

    Secondly; I do not see how an unemployed person could be more to actively looking for work other than what they are already doing when the labor market is ostensibly as depressed is it already is in Finland.

    For the size of its population, Finland has always had, historically, an extremely high unemployment rate and labor laws, which by the standards of other European nations, are, frankly, no further advanced than the labor laws in the UK were in the nineteen fifties. The employee has no protection at all against forced redundancies, for example, and there is also no mandatory redundancy payment advocated under the current Finnish legislation – something inherited, I might add, from the Swedish model upon which the Finnish system rests. This I know for a fact, as I had personally consulted three employment lawyers when I was fighting to stop the company I had previously worked for from outsourcing the job I had at the time to Eastern Europe. The point being is that this is not the fault of the now unemployed person (i.e. myself), but rather the lack of any protective legislation on the part of the state, who then condemns and victimizes the unemployed person in a system which does NOT protect existing jobs, let alone engenders the conditions for the creation of new ones.

    When I red above that “Unemployment benefits would remain normal if a job seeker was active, for example, if s/he had worked for three working days during the 65 payment days. If not, there would be a deduction, which would be made both from earnings-related allowance, labor market support and basic allowance.” Does this mean then that this proposal is comparable to what in the UK is called “workfare”, where the unemployed person will be subject to unpaid labor at the behest of the employment services in order to continue to receive further security payments, which is essentially a system of coercion? What this in actuality would amount to is a form of government sanctioned slave labor to fill in for the shortfall of jobs that people do not want to do or will not do, whilst the labor fee incurred will then be made fully payable to the custodian in the position of supervising this so-called work, eliminating completely the free choice of the individual concerned. What possible benefit could be gained by the unemployed person or, indeed, by the state, by having a job seeker work for three days out of the 65 days of the payment period, without decreasing and/or undermining said individual’s sense of self-worth and/or well-being? This seems to me to be just another example of a fundamentally inefficient system striving only to further humiliate and dehumanize the most vulnerable and powerless members of society.

    What I also find immensely unpalatable is that the employment services – i.e. government legislation – now requires an “activity requirement” in order for an unemployed person to qualify for continuing to receive his/her security benefit payments. How can it be for the government to determine or to decide what any individual’s “activity requirement” should be without violating said person’s right to his/her personal freedom and/or sovereignty?

    What people do in their own time and in their own space – whether unemployed or not – outside the world of work, also contributes to the GDP of the nation, but this is never taken into account by governments, because the model for determining national wealth and /or prosperity is fundamentally flawed to begin with. The ranking of Finland’s GDP, for example, is not even among the top thirty nations of the world, and yet it consistently scores higher than most other nations (frequently in the top ten) on individual happiness, social well-being and education. So Finland must be doing something right where its societal model is concerned. But all of this under attack from an agenda that favors a Spencerian ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality, geared toward undermining the fundamental rights of workers to secure a minimal competitive edge for those already at the top of the pile.

    I for one – at the age of 41 – do not require more “free job experience”, as I already have that; but, rather I do require a well paying and secure job free from a repressive state apparatus that serves only to threaten not only my personal well-being, but the well-being of every citizen forced to undertake actions against their will and for which someone else will benefit – i.e. the person and/or company this “free work” would be undertaken for. Which is to say that obviously the company and/or person one would undertake to do this hypothetical “free job experience” for will benefit more from your free labor than the person forced into this situation.


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