Aino-Kaisa Pekonen (Left Alliance), the Minister of Social Affairs and Health, has assured that the government will deliver on its promise to abolish the activation model for unemployment security. (Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva)

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AINO-KAISA PEKONEN (Left Alliance), the Minister of Social Affairs and Health, has confirmed that the activation model for unemployment security will be scrapped.

Abolishing the much-berated model was one of the main campaign promises of the Social Democratic Party, the winner of the parliamentary elections held in Finland in April. The compromise found by the five ruling parties, however, has stirred up doubts about whether the government is willing to deliver on the promise.

The five parties agreed in the government programme to scrap the obligations and benefit cuts set forth in the activation model until they have identified measures with a comparable impact on the employment situation in Finland.

“The activation model will be abolished,” Pekonen confirmed on Twitter on Monday.

“Many have asked the question, and I want to answer it clearly. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is already preparing to dissolve the model, and the amendment will be pushed through as quickly as possible while taking into consideration good legislative practice and the needs of [the Social Insurance Institution of Finland] Kela.”

The publication of the government programme has generated discussion about the employment impact of the model and, especially, whether it can be verified.

The VATT Institute for Economic Research in May estimated that it remains premature to evaluate the employment impact of the model, which was adopted in January 2018. A task force appointed to investigate the effects of the model is scheduled to deliver its final report in October 2019.

The activation model for unemployment security obliges job seekers to work at least 18 hours, earn at least 240 euros through self-employment or participate in employment services for at least five days over each 65-day monitoring period. A failure to satisfy the so-called activity criteria will result in a 4.65 per cent drop in unemployment benefits for the next monitoring period.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi