The Finnish government announced its latest employment measures

The Finnish government announced its latest employment measures

“We have previously made decisions about measures that will increase employment by about 80,000 people.”

The Ministry of Finance estimates that the latest set of measures will strengthen public finances by at least EUR 110 million and increase the number of employed by 5,100 people.

The government expects to strengthen public finances by about 54 million euros and increase the number of employees by 1,500 by making earnings-related daily pay conditional on earnings instead of working hours. Persons who have worked at least 18 hours a week for 26 weeks before becoming unemployed during the 28-month follow-up period and who do not qualify for labor market support are currently eligible.

Anyone who has earned more than € 844 per month for at least six of the 28 months of the follow-up period is eligible. The monthly earnings of € 422-843 are calculated at half of the six-month requirement.

“The employment condition can be met not on the basis of working hours but on the basis of merit,” Haatainen said at a press conference in Helsinki on Friday.

He pointed out that the change would not only affect incentives to work, as it would make it cheaper to receive irregular, short-term jobs, but also the processing of aid applications, as all the necessary information could usually be obtained from the income register.

Helsingin sanomat newspaper wrote that there are approximately 2,800 unemployed who did not perform the required weekly work for at least 18 hours but meet the earnings-based requirement. The expected employment impact of the reform, it added, is due to a decline in unemployment benefits for some casual workers.

Individuals who collected the required hours every other week but did not work for others, for example, were previously entitled to a monthly allowance of € 1,261. In the future, the daily allowance will be EUR 830 per month, regardless of the earnings distribution within the month in which the recipient met the earnings criterion.

Students will be encouraged to work further by raising the income limits for student grants by 50 percent from the 2021 level from January 2023 onwards, Haatainen said. The annual limit depends on how many months a student receives support in one year, and the monthly limit for support will rise to almost € 1,045 next year and € 3,120 for a non-supported month.

Even if the increase were to increase student support costs by about EUR 24 million per year, its impact on tax revenue and other benefit costs would be about EUR 12 million higher than the impact of student support costs, according to the Ministry of Finance. The estimate is based on the assumption that raising income limits will not slow completion.

“Raising the income limit is an attempt to support integration into working life during studies and studies [utilise] students to balance the difficult labor market situation, ”Haatainen commented.

The measure is expected to increase the number of employed by about 2,500.

Unemployment benefit students, in turn, will be covered by the employment service scheme, which will come into force later this year, requiring most to apply for four jobs a month to remain covered. The scheme was originally intended to oblige such students to apply for only three jobs a month.

The adjustment does not affect professionally disadvantaged students, so they can retain their entitlement to unemployment benefits by applying for three jobs a month. The obligation may be reduced or waived on a case-by-case basis, as for other unemployed jobseekers.

The adjustment will increase public finances by EUR 41 million and the number of employed by 1,100 people.

Another € 10 million is expected to result from a restriction on the use of full wage subsidies for the largest economic operators. According to the government, the use of aid should be limited to compliance with EU state aid regulations.

“At the same time, access to 100 per cent support will be extended to new employers who have not previously received it. The wage subsidy would then benefit a growing number of employers, Haatainen said.

The government also announced a number of other employment-related measures, such as the establishment of a working group to weigh up the means of promoting lifelong learning, the reform of the Occupational Safety and Health Act to support people’s ability to stay and work, and the improvement of students. mental health services.

No estimates were provided for the financial impact of the other measures.

Jukka HaapakoskiExecutive Director of the Unemployment Organization, told me According to Helsingin Sanomat, the government seems to be making such difficult decisions that it has tried to avoid so far.

“This is primarily a surgical package,” he describes.

For example, the reform of earnings-related unemployment benefits can have a negative impact, especially on temporary municipal workers who have worked in early childhood education, training or sports for two to three weeks. It can have a positive impact on people who are paid for an individual performance, such as artists and musicians.

The Chamber of Commerce considers the measures to be insufficient.

“The recently decided measures are a drop in the ocean compared to the need for structural employment measures and the sustainability gap in public finances,” the CEO said. Juho Romakkaniemi.

The Association of University Students (SYL) welcomed the increase in student income limits, recalling that around 40,000 students are ordered to be reimbursed for exceeding the money limit each year.

“From an individual student’s perspective, the increase means there are more options to secure a livelihood, work and gain experience,” said Konstantin KouzmichevChairman of SYL.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

Source: The Nordic Page

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