Earnings-related unemployment benefit for union members

If you lose your job, you are entitled to earnings-related unemployment benefits if you have been a member of an unemployment fund at least for the past 26 weeks and meet the wage earners’ employment condition. The wage earners’ employment condition is met if, during your membership of an unemployment fund, you have been a salaried employee for at least 26 calendar weeks of the 28 months preceding the unemployment. The period of employment does not have to be continuous; the 26 weeks may consist of several shorter fixed-term working contracts. Check the instructions of the unemployment fund for more detailed requirements for meeting the employment condition.

A grant term, full-time studies, sickness allowance or family leave may extend the 28-month review period of the employment condition by up to seven years, but any income received from them will not be taken into account when assessing the amount of allowance. Therefore, you may also be entitled to earnings-related allowance at the end of a grant term based on your previous employment.  In that case, the amount of earnings-related allowance will be determined according to the salary you received in your most recent employment.


What to do to receive earnings-related allowance:


Register at the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office) as an unemployed jobseeker immediately after the termination of your employment or end of your grant term or at the beginning of your lay-off on your first day of unemployment at the latest and maintain the validity of your job search in accordance with the instructions of the TE Office. If your job search is not valid for a period of time, the unemployment fund cannot pay allowance for that time. Register as an unemployed jobseeker at www.te-palvelut.fi/te/en.  If necessary, you can call the TE Office’s telephone service for personal customers, tel. 0295 020 701 (Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.).


After two weeks of unemployment or temporary lay-off, you can submit your first allowance application. Fill in the application for earnings-related allowance carefully and obtain the necessary attachments. You can apply for the allowance through the electronic Openetti service of the Teachers’ Unemployment Fund. If you want to apply for the allowance with a mailable form, you can print it out at the The Unemployment Fund for Education and Science website. Please note: the allowance must always be applied for within three months of the date from which you wish to claim it. Remember to also apply for allowance for the so-called ‘deductible period’. For more detailed instructions on applying for allowance, please visit the website of the Teachers’ Unemployment Fund.


Keep your union membership valid even during unemployment by paying your membership fees. During unemployment, you must pay your membership fees personally by either using the reference numbers in the letter sent to you at the beginning of the year concerning membership fees or through the membership fee calculator in the E-Services where you will find a reference number for your payment. The membership fee of members who are not salaried employees is EUR 8 per month.  In the E-Services, report your unemployment as well (section jäsenmaksutiedot – syötä palkaton jakso, ‘membership fee information – add an unpaid period’). If you have any questions about membership fees, please contact the membership services of the union via jasenpalvelu(at)tieteentekijat.fi.


Immediately report any factors affecting your right to allowance to the unemployment fund. These factors include studying, working, receiving a grant, sick leave, business activities, salary during notice period, social benefits or other earnings. If there are any changes in your circumstances, report them to the TE Office as well.

For an estimate of the amount of allowance, use the allowance calculator at the website of the Federation of Unemployment Funds in Finland (TYJ).

Useful links:

TE Office

The Unemployment Fund for Education and Science