The rights and obligations of an unemployed jobseeker

When you are receiving an unemployment benefit, you have not only rights but also certain obligations.

The rights of an unemployed jobseeker 

When you have registered as an jobseeker, you are entitled to 

  • TE Office’s services for unemployed jobseekers 
  • unemployment benefits, if you meet the other requirements 
  • help in finding employment. 

Together with the TE Office, you will draw up an employment plan, which will include the goals you have set for your job search and the activities you have committed to, which will help you achieve your goals. The plan and its implementation are assessed every three months in accordance with the agreement you have made with a TE Office expert. 

Your entitlement to unemployment benefits depends on whether you are working as a salary earner or an entrepreneur, or whether you are self-employed (for example, a caregiver to a family member, or a professional athlete). The amount of work required by your employment and the duration of employment also play a role. 

The TE Office always assesses the amount of work required by your activities and its effect on your unemployment benefits on a case-by-case basis. Only the amount of work required is crucial in determining whether you are a full-time entrepreneur; the amount of income or profit obtained is insignificant. The assessment made by the TE Office is not necessarily consistent with decisions made by the party paying for your unemployment benefit (Kela or your unemployment fund), or the tax administration. 

If you receive unemployment benefits, you can 

  • study part-time 
  • do voluntary work, if it is unpaid and ordinary non-profit work for the public good 
  • work part-time 
  • work as a part-time entrepreneur or take on short-term assignments 
  • start business activities. If you start your entrepreneurial activities while unemployed, the TE Office will not determine whether your business activities are full-time or part-time during the first four months of the entrepreneurial activity. 

The obligations of an unemployed jobseeker 

If you apply for or receive unemployment benefits, you have to apply for full-time work. An essential requirement for receiving unemployment benefits is that you have registered with the TE Office as a full-time jobseeker, and your job search is valid.  Your job search will remain valid if you deal with the TE Office in the agreed manner, keep to the agreed times, and follow the instructions and deadlines provided to you by the TE Office either in the E-services or through other channels. 

In addition, you will have to take care of the following obligations 

  • make sure that the TE Office can reach you, and update your contact details by submitting any changes in the E-services or by telephone 
  • accept work offered to you by the TE Office or an employer; when a job offer is made to you by the TE Office, you are obliged to contact the employer and inform the TE Office accordingly within the deadline 
  • accept training offered by the TE Office; when the TE Office offers training, you are obliged to apply for the labour market training and to notify the TE Office of your application within the deadline 
  • participate in interviews, and the drafting and updating of your employment, activation or integration plan 
  • apply for and participate in all the services for the promotion of employment as agreed in your personal plan drafted with the TE Office, or otherwise offered to you by the TE Office; complete all the assignments in the plan, and inform the TE Office of their completion 
  • if you are under the age of 25 and have not completed any education or training after your basic education or general upper secondary school, resulting in a qualification and providing you with vocational skills, you have to apply for at least two study places in the spring. Check that you fulfil the eligibility conditions for these study places. Contact the nearest One-Stop Guidance Center for more information and help. 

Please note that your activity as a jobseeker affects the amount of unemployment benefits you will receive. If you neglect your obligations, you may lose your right to unemployment benefits either for a fixed term or indefinitely. 

Instructions for customers in local government trials on employment 

The rights and obligations of a jobseeker also apply to the customers of the local government trial on employment. If you are a customer of a local government trial on employment, the employment plan is prepared with you in your municipality of residence, which also offers you services that promote employment. Please use services as required by the municipality in your municipality of residence instead of the TE Office.  

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