Unemployment Issues:

How will I apply for unemployment support in a situation where I haven’t had any research funding? What kind of benefits will I be entitled to?

It depends on your work history: you’ll get earnings-related benefits, labor market support or possibly standard unemployment benefits.

How will one become eligible for earnings-related unemployment benefits?

You will have to show the authorities that you have at least 26 weeks of work history from the past 28 months and that you’ve been a member of either an independent unemployment fund or a trade union fund during those 26 weeks. Assuming that you have worked on grant, the period of 28 months can be extended still further. For example, assuming that you would have joined a trade union in 2008, worked as a salaried employee from January 2009 to December 2010, and afterwards worked on a grant from January 2011 to December 2013, you would have still been eligible for earnings-related unemployment benefit starting from January 2014. For more information see the websites of Teachers’ Unemployment Fund and The Federation of Unemployment Funds in Finland (TYJ).

Is there a difference in eligibility for unemployment benefits based on how the employment relationship ends?

If you’ve resigned without an admissible reason there will be a waiting period of 90 days. Also in this case you must register as an unemployed job seeker with the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office) on the first day of your unemployment.

Am I allowed to work on my research while unemployed? Would I be allowed to continue working on my doctoral thesis?

No. When you’re unemployed, you’re looking for work, not doing it voluntarily or free of charge. Assuming that you inform the authorities about your intention to continue your research while unemployed, they may consider you ineligible for unemployment benefits.

When I’m unemployed and enjoying unemployment benefits, does this mean that I should take up any work at any time? If I’m not allowed to work on my doctoral thesis, am I allowed to remain as a doctoral student and look for work from the university?

In general, while unemployed, you have to show that you’re ready and willing to enter the labor market – so yes, you should be willing to take up any work, based on your professional qualifications and your academic degree. Although you’re not actually allowed to work on your doctoral thesis while unemployed, you should be allowed to remain as a registered doctoral student at your university. Indeed, retaining your formal position as a registered doctoral student may be often necessary while you’re looking for work from the university sector. Do note that even though official policy should be uniform everywhere in Finland, in practice the employment authorities in some cities have pursued somewhat different practices in this respect. It’s a good idea to consult your local union representative first, since he/she knows the ropes with the nearby bureaucrats.

Are non-EU citizens eligible for Finnish unemployment benefits?

Yes, if they otherwise fill the qualifications.

Is a person entitled to simultaneously enjoy unemployment benefits and paternity, maternity or parental allowance?

No, he/she is not.