The Government's proposal to end adult education allowance has been submitted to the Parliament and we have updated the site News concerning the adult education allowance for example with information concerning studies that begin in the autumn of 2024.
Employment Fund collects unemployment insurance contributions which are used e.g. to fund unemployment security and to promote the development of employees' competence through adult education benefits. We are an important part of the Finnish social security system. Our clients are all employers that employ and employees aged 18-64 in Finland.
In 2022, an average of 169 people worked for Employment Fund. We provide guidance and advice to our clients in matters related to unemployment insurance contributions and adult education benefits, and we participate in the development of legislation in our sector.
Employment Fund is an organisation managed by labour market parties. Employment Fund started operating on 1 January 2019 when the Unemployment Insurance Fund and the Education Fund merged. Our operations are supervised by the Financial Supervisory Authority. We belong to the administrative branch of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
Employment Fund collects unemployment insurance contributions from both employers and employees. The employer pays Employment Fund its and the employee's share of the unemployment insurance contribution four times a year. The level of unemployment insurance contributions is determined annually by law.
We use unemployment insurance contributions to fund unemployment security, adult education benefits, pension security and pay security. In addition, we are responsible for financing the liability component for unemployment security and the new transition security package that entered into force in 2023.
In recent years, the focus of our customer services has shifted to e-services. We were among the first to introduce use of the Incomes Register in 2019, as a result of which the invoicing automation rate for unemployment insurance contributions increased to slightly over 98%. The automation rate for adult education allowance’s payment decisions is also 78%. Our services use the Incomes Register and other public administration data interfaces to provide us with up-to-date information about our clients, without any additional effort on the part of the customer. Our goal is to continuously develop the usability of our e-services and to optimise our customer experience. The total customer satisfaction score (CSAT) indicating the percentage of satisfied and highly satisfied customers of all customers stood at 84% for 2022.
Employment Fund uses unemployment insurance contributions to finance most of the earnings-related unemployment security paid by unemployment funds, with the exception of the share that the funds collect with membership fees (approximately 5%). In addition, we pay the State's portion to the unemployment funds. The State's portion of the unemployment security is financed from tax revenue.
We pay the share of basic unemployment insurance contributions corresponding to the share of employees who are not members of unemployment funds to Kela annually. Approximately 85% of employees belong to unemployment funds.
Employment Fund grants and pays an adult education allowance to an employee or entrepreneur for studies that support professional development. Adult education allowance can be used for one or more sets of studies during a person’s career for a total of 15 months, in one or more instalments. With the help of the allowance, you can study entire degrees or shorter degree programmes in numerous educational institutions around Finland. The employee's adult education allowance is financed in full by unemployment insurance contributions. The State pays an entrepreneur's adult education allowance.
Employment Fund grants and pays scholarships for qualified employees, which a person can receive after completing a vocational upper secondary qualification, a further vocational qualification or a specialist vocational qualification and if, by the date of completion of the qualification, pension insurance has accumulated employment history for at least five years. Vocational qualification scholarships are financed entirely by unemployment insurance contributions, excluding State employees’ scholarships which are financed by the State.
Employees may receive pay security paid by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment if they have pay claims due to the employer's insolvency. Funding for this benefit, too, comes entirely from unemployment insurance contributions and we pay it to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment annually.
The purpose of the training compensation is to improve the employer’s opportunities to organise training for its employees so that they can enhance their vocational competence. Municipalities, parishes, associations and foundations are eligible for this.
The unemployment insurance contribution paid by the employer also includes a liability component. An employer may be obliged to pay the liability component if they have dismissed or laid off an elderly employee and the employee has been unemployed or laid off for a long period. Liability component payments are used to finance unemployment benefit expenses incurred by terminations and layoffs.
|The additional days of unemployment security will be abolished. The right to continued unemployment allowance is replaced by the right to receive the transition security package and the employer's obligation to pay the transition security contribution.
The unemployment insurance contribution paid by the employer also includes a transition security contribution. The employer may be obliged to pay a transition security contribution if the employer has dismissed an employee aged 55 or over for production-related or financial reasons and the employee had been employed by the employer in question for at least five years. The transition security contributions are used to finance the employee’s transition security package.
Transition security contributions have been collected since 2023. The transition security contribution may be payable if the employee is terminated on or after 1 January 2023.
An employer who has terminated an employee’s employment relationship in violation of the provisions of the Employment Contracts Act is liable to pay compensation to the employee. A deduction from the compensation must be paid to Employment Fund if the unemployment fund has paid the employee earnings-related daily unemployment allowance after the termination of employment. The deduction is also made from compensation paid for groundless lay-offs.
Part of the return on unemployment insurance contributions is transferred to Employment Fund's business cycle buffer, the purpose of which is to ensure the steady development of unemployment insurance contributions. The business cycle buffer will grow as the Finnish economy develops in a positive direction. The funds accumulated in the buffer are used during economic downturns, which curbs the pressure to increase the unemployment insurance contributions of employers and employees. This business cycle buffer, also known as the EMU buffer, has been used several times in the past 20 years to cover unexpected increases in unemployment security expenditure and to compensate for the pressure to increase unemployment insurance contributions.
Employment Fund’s business cycle buffer and its other assets shall be invested in a profitable and secure manner, taking into account the Fund's liquidity. A particular challenge related to investing the business cycle buffer, is that the investment assets acquired during an upturn must be liquidated during a downturn. A high return requirement cannot be imposed on the Fund's investment assets at the expense of risk.
Employment Fund has the right to borrow to meet its obligations under the Act on the Financing of Unemployment Benefits. Employment Fund's bond is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki Oy stock exchange ("Nasdaq Helsinki"), which is why the Fund is obliged to report on its stock exchange activities.
The unemployment insurance system directs the employees' and employers’ unemployment insurance contributions in full to finance unemployment allowances, adult education benefits, and pay and pension security. In addition, they are used to finance training compensation and liability components. You can select English subtitles on the video.
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Employment Fund’s services are important for Finnish employers, employees, and the whole labor market.
By watching the video on the right, you will learn more about the Fund’s main services and why they are an important part of the Finnish social security system.
All employers and employees aged 18–64 in Finland pay unemployment insurance contributions. But why?
By watching the video on the right, you will learn more about how Employment Fund finances unemployment security with unemployment insurance contributions and ensures the sufficiency of funds with its business cycle buffer.
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