The turn of the year will see increases to the unemployment benefits paid by Kela. Further changes include new transition security measures that will be introduced for employees aged 55 or over who have been laid off. It will also be made easier for recipients of unemployment benefits to engage in studies. The information presented here will be posted on the kela.fi website on 1 January 2023.
Increases to unemployment benefits
The amount of the basic unemployment allowance and the labour market subsidy will be increased to EUR 37.21 per day in 2023 (from the previous EUR 35.72 per day). This means an increase of approximately EUR 30 over a four-week payment period.
The supplementary amount and the child increases will be raised as well in 2023. The supplementary amount will be raised to EUR 5.29 per day (previously EUR 5.08 per day).
Starting from the beginning of 2023, the child increases will be
- EUR 7.01 per day for one child (previously EUR 5.61 per day)
- EUR 10.29 per day in total for two children (previously EUR 8.23 per day)
- EUR 13.26 per day in total for three or more children (previously EUR 10.61 per day).
The changes to the child increase include a 4.2% index adjustment that will take effect at the turn of the year as well as an additional 20% increase agreed on in the Government’s budget deliberations for 2023. This additional increase will be applied until 31 December 2023.
Employees aged 55 or over who have been laid off can apply for a new transition security allowance
As of the beginning of 2023, the services provided to employees aged 55 or over will be improved by the introduction of a new transition security allowance and transition security training. These are intended to make it easier for those who have been laid off to find new employment.
Starting 1 January 2023, employees aged 55 or over who have been laid off for financial or production-related reasons and who have been with their previous employer for at least five years can apply for the new transition security allowance. Employees who are not enrolled in an unemployment fund can apply to Kela for the transition security allowance. The transition security measures include a longer paid leave for job search.
Age limit to qualify for extended unemployment benefits will be raised
The age limit to qualify for additional days of unemployment benefit will rise from 61–62 years to 63 years for those born in 1963 and to 64 years for those born in 1964. Those born in 1965 or later will not be eligible for any additional days. Extended unemployment benefits will be discontinued for all age groups in 2030.
The legislative amendment will go into effect on 1 January 2023. This change will not affect any additional days of unemployment benefit that have already been granted.
It will be made easier for unemployment benefit recipients to study
Starting 1 January 2023, jobseekers can engage in various studies without losing their unemployment benefits. Studies that do not affect the right to unemployment benefits include short-term courses, supplementary qualification training, and studies taken in an adult education centre (kansalaisopisto). Studies completed as part of employment-promoting services do not affect the right to unemployment benefits, nor do any studies that the unemployed jobseeker has started during the period of employment, as long as the reasons for the unemployment are beyond their control.
Starting 1 January 2023, there will be clarifications to the obligation of unemployed jobseekers who engage in studies to seek employment. In the future, recipients of unemployment benefits who engage in self-motivated studies will generally be obligated to apply for four jobs per month.
Clarifications to adjustment process of unemployment benefits in order to harmonise practices
The turn of the year will see a number of legislative amendments harmonising the decision-making practices surrounding unemployment benefits. These changes have already been applied since 2020 through a temporary act passed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
The changes will simplify and harmonise the ways in which unemployment benefits are adjusted when an unemployed person works part-time or sporadically. As these practices have already been in place since 2020, the legislative amendments will not affect the rights of Kela’s customers to receive unemployment benefits.
An additional change to the decision-making practices surrounding unemployment benefits will take effect in 2023, affecting those who work shorter hours due to a temporary lay-off and those who are prevented from working due to industrial action.
Until now, a one-week reference period has been used with these customer groups when adjusting their unemployment benefits to their working time. After the change, the reference period for these customer groups will be 4 weeks or 1 month.
A significant change to the way in which copyright royalties affect unemployment benefits
Plans are underway for a Government Decree amendment, according to which copyright royalties received by unemployed persons would no longer reduce their unemployment benefits.
This change will affect those who simultaneously receive unemployment benefits from Kela and copyright royalties for artistic or literary works. This change will only apply to copyright royalties and not to other intellectual property royalties, and it will only be applied when adjusting unemployment benefits to income from royalties. Regular income from copyright royalties will still be taken into account in the means-testing for the labour market subsidy.
The amendment to the Government Decree is expected later this year.