Grant funding combined with an employment relationship in terms of unemployment security
At some universities, researchers with grant funding are offered part-time employment. The combination of grant funding and an employment relationship may impact your unemployment security.
To receive the basic unemployment allowance paid by Kela or earnings-related daily allowance paid by an unemployment fund, an unemployed person must meet the so-called employment condition. The employment condition is met if you have been in an employment relationship for 26 calendar weeks during a period of 28 months preceding the unemployment and you have worked for a minimum of 18 working hours per week. For those engaged in teaching at an educational institution, however, the minimum requirement for the employment condition is 8 working hours per week (what tasks are considered teaching work is explained here). Entitlement to an earnings-related daily allowance requires that the individual meets the employment condition while being a member in the unemployment fund.
Grant recipients who are employed part-time should take into consideration the effects of part-time employment on possible earnings-related daily allowance. An essential aspect is whether the employment contract is made for the required minimum of 18 working hours per week (or 8 hours/week in teaching tasks) or less than that. For those falling within the overall working hours system, the weekly working hours are calculated by dividing the annual working hours by the number of weeks (if uncertain about whether or not you meet the employment condition in your current or potential work, please contact your unemployment fund).
The amount of the earnings-related daily allowance is based on actual income. Although the employment condition is met when the weekly working hours exceed 18 hours/week (or 8 hours/week for those in teaching tasks), the amount of the earnings-related daily allowance may remain minimal.
The periods of grant funding will extend the 28-month review period for meeting the employment condition up to seven years. Hence, the employment condition may be met on the basis of paid employment preceding the grant funding period.
When engaging in part-time employment during the grant period, a grant recipient should consider if it is more advantageous to work the minimum of 18 working hours per week (8 hours/week in teaching tasks) or less than that. If the requirements for earnings-related daily allowance are met on the basis of a full-time paid employment preceding the grant period, it may be better to contract for less than 18 working hours per week (less than 8 hours/week in teaching tasks). Then, the earnings-related daily allowance will be calculated on the basis of the previous full-time paid work instead of the part-time employment during the grant period. As a result, the amount of the earnings-related daily allowance will be higher in case the income from the previous employment was higher than that of the part-time employment during the grant period.
The amount of grant funding plays no role in the calculation of the earnings-related daily allowance, which is always based on the salary or wages from paid employment.
Part-time employment has no effect on the amount of the basic unemployment allowance paid by Kela, since it is the same for all benefit recipients. In the event the employment condition is not met on the basis of work carried out before the grant period, contracting for a part-time employment with the minimum of 18 working hours per week (8 hours/week in teaching tasks) is advisable in terms of the basic unemployment allowance as it will accumulate the employment condition for the employee. Joining an unemployment fund is recommended because it will affect the future entitlement to earnings-related benefits. It is worth your while to join the unemployment fund even if your part-time employment is minimal.
Those unemployed jobseekers who do not meet the employment condition may apply for labour market subsidy paid by Kela.
In order to receive any form of unemployment security, you must first register as a jobseeker.
Read more about unemployment security.