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Tarja Filatov (SDP), the chairperson of the Parliament’s Employment and Equality Committee, spoke in the Finnish Parliament on 15 November 2018. (Credit: Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)
Tarja Filatov (SDP), the chairperson of the Parliament’s Employment and Equality Committee, spoke in the Finnish Parliament on 15 November 2018. (Credit: Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

 

Tarja Filatov (SDP), the chairperson of the Parliament’s Employment and Equality Committee, has voiced her puzzlement with the fact that the government is about to reduce the waiting period for unemployment benefits only for employees who have been made redundant.

The waiting period would thus shorten from 90 to 60 days for employees who have been laid off, but remain at 90 days for employees who resign voluntarily.

“This is what’s contradictory here. Given that the law has been designed for certain political objectives, it isn’t terribly consistent,” Filatov told Uusi Suomi on Tuesday.

She reminded that the objective of the waiting period is, on the one hand, to discourage employees from resigning and, on the other, to encourage people to seek employment after becoming unemployed.

The waiting period is only applied to people who are dismissed for personal reasons but for financial or operational reasons. The proposal states that employees can be dismissed for personal reasons if they have neglected or violated their key obligations or if they are no longer able to perform their duties due to the deterioration of their ability to work.

Filatov highlighted that the law therefore punishes employees more for voluntary resignations than for neglecting their obligations.

“In some ways, it’s justified to have a longer waiting period if you resign voluntarily. But if you get a shorter waiting period for being laid off for personal reasons, meaning you’ve behaved inappropriately, then we’re talking about a different thing. That’s why the whole section on waiting periods is problematic,” she explained.

She added that she would personally prefer to overhaul the entire waiting period scheme due to regional differences in how the regulations are interpreted.

“There are quite big differences in how this is interpreted in various parts of Finland. In one place, it’s okay to study something, but in another place it isn’t. Volunteering is interpreted as an activity that means the person is not available to the labour force in some places, but in other places it’s not,” told Filatov.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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