Joint proposals from the Finnish social partners

Negotiation results 12.5.2020:

JOINT PRESENTATION OF THE CENTRAL ORGANISATIONS OF LABOUR MARKETS (STTK, EK, KT, SAK, Akava):

1. Temporary changes in labour law and social security will be continued until 31 December 2020

The temporary flexibility of labour legislation and the temporary changes in unemployment benefits will be extended until 31 December 2020, as agreed by the central organisations of labour markets on 18 March 2020.

The central organisations of labour markets consider it important that the periodic amendments to TES on these matters, based on the recommendation made by the central organisations on 21 March 2020, be extended by the Parties until 31 December 2020 or while the temporary changes in the law are in force.

2. The calculation of the maximum unemployment benefits payment period will be suspended until 31 December 2020 for the unemployed and for those who have been temporarily laid off.

The calculation of the maximum payment period of the unemployment daily allowance due to temporary layoff has been suspended for the period from 16 March to 30 June 2020. The suspension of the maximum payment period for unemployment daily allowance on the basis of layoffs will be continued until 31 December 2020 under the conditions set out in the current temporary law.

The calculation of the maximum payment period for unemployment daily allowance on the basis of unemployment will also be suspended. This suspension shall apply to unemployment daily allowance paid on the basis of unemployment or the cessation or reduction of employment which began on or after 16 March 2020 for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2020. The suspension does not apply to unemployment daily allowance paid for the period of voluntary short-term studies.

The central organisations of labour markets consider that points 1 and 2 above form a coherent whole, and that both must be implemented.

3. We will ensure the liquidity of the Employment Fund

In order to secure the payment of unemployment daily allowances, the following measures will be taken to support the liquidity of the Employment Fund: the state guarantees the loans of the Employment Fund from banks, the state finances the part of the daily allowances for the lay-off period corresponding to the basic daily allowance for the years 2020-2021, the financial transfers from the Employment Fund to the occupational pension scheme will be delayed by one year free of interest and the state is preparing to provide direct financial support to the Employment Fund in case the situation worsens.

4. We will increase the number of coronavirus tests through occupational health

In order to increase coronavirus tests, occupational health care resources must be utilized. Coronavirus tests in occupational health care will be temporarily reimbursed so that the occupational health care reimbursement paid by Kela covers 75% of the acceptable costs of the tests incurred by the employer.

Kela occupational health reimbursements for coronavirus tests would be financed in such a way that the state would pay half, and the other half would pay employers and employees together.

This model would be in force until 31.12.2020.

5. We will ensure the ability of municipalities to meet their obligations

Municipalities and joint municipal authorities bear the practical responsibility for resolving the coronavirus crisis. The coronavirus pandemic will weaken the municipal economy by almost EUR 2 billion in 2020.

The government must play its part in ensuring that municipalities are able to meet their obligations despite the additional costs and loss of revenue caused by the coronavirus crisis. In addition to the decisions already made by the government, municipalities and joint municipal authorities need more financial support, for example through the system of central government transfers to local government.

Read more: Proposals from the Finnish labour market organizations for specific training and competence measures

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