The so-called phase two of the much-criticised activation model for unemployment security would introduce notable changes to the sanctions imposed on job seekers who fail to fulfil their obligations.
Jari Lindström (BR), the Minister of Employment, confirmed yesterday that the new model would oblige job seekers to apply for at least four jobs a month under the threat of a temporary suspension of benefits.
Job seekers who fail to send the number of job applications prescribed in their personal employment plan would first be issued a reminder of the non-gratuitous nature of unemployment security. If they continued to neglect their job-seeking obligations, they would face a temporary suspension of benefits or be issued a so-called employment obligation.
By contrast, the current benefit suspensions imposed for failures to apply for a job offered by employment services, refusals to draft an employment plan and refusals to participate or complete participation in employment services would be abolished, according to a press release from the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.
“The new model is built on trust and fairness: Those who need support will get it. Monitoring would be based on information reported by job seekers, and sanctions would be more lenient,” summarised Lindström.
“[Job seekers] could decide [by] themselves which suitable jobs to apply for and when,” he added.
Job seekers who fail to apply for a job offered by employment services currently face a 60-day suspension and those who refuse to draft an employment plan at least a 30-day suspension of benefits.
The first violation would in the future result in a reminder, the second in a 10-day suspension of benefits, the third in a 20-day suspension of benefits and the fourth in the imposition of an employment obligation. Turning down a guaranteed full-time job, meanwhile, would continue to result in a 90-day suspension of benefits.
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy also assured that there would be no overlap in the sanctions laid out in the activation model for unemployment security and the model for independent job seeking.
Lindström explained that the failure to apply for a job, for example, would not lead to both a suspension of benefits under the model for independent job seeking and a cut in employment benefits under the activation model.
“These kind of double sanctions are prevented already in the existing law,” he stated.
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy will start requesting feedback on the model for independent job seeking in the near future.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi