Unemployment allowance is intended to provide economic security to unemployed persons who satisfy the condition of previous employment. It is payable for up to 500 days. The daily unemployment allowances paid after 1 January 1994 are deducted from the maximum entitlement. Recipients entitled to unemployment pension who reach the age of 60 continue to receive the allowance until the end of the calendar month in which the 500-day limit is reached.
In order to qualify for unemployment allowance from KELA, unemployed persons must satisfy a condition relating to the length of their previous employment. After a specified waiting period, unemployed persons who meet this condition can get unemployment allowance in the form of either a basic allowance (from KELA) or an earnings-related allowance (from an unemployment fund). Unemployed persons who do not satisfy the employment condition or have received unemployment allowance for the maximum period can receive a labor market subsidy from KELA.
Wage security refers to the cash benefits employees can get if their employer due to bankruptcy or insolvency is unable to pay their regular wage, salary or other compensation. Wage security covers up to a limit the liabilities that employers under the terms of the employment contract have towards their employees. It must be applied within three months of the date on which the payment became due. Application forms are available from and must be returned to the employment office.
Unemployed persons can, provided that they satisfy the employment condition, contact an employment office to get into labor market training. There is also a cash benefit linked to participation in such training. Unemployed persons with a long history of employment can get a training allowance if they undergo training that they have sought out for themselves. Elderly workers who have been unemployed for a relatively long time may qualify for unemployment pension.
Unemployed persons who have received benefits for the maximum period allowed (500 days) or who do not meet the previous-employment condition required to qualify for unemployment allowance, are eligible for the labor market subsidy. If unemployment allowance has been paid for 500 days, labor market subsidy is granted, without a means test, for an additional 180 days.If an unemployed person does not satisfy the condition regarding previous employment, or if payment of the non-means-tested labor market subsidy has ended, labor market subsidy is paid, subject to a means test, indefinitely. Payment of labor market subsidy can be suspended for the same reasons which apply to the unemployment allowance.
A six-week benefit suspension can also be imposed if a person repeatedly refuses offers for job training, career guidance, rehabilitation or adult education. Persons aged 18-24 who refuse an offer for a job, labor market policy measure or training (i.e. does not apply for a suitable course of vocational training or quits school) become ineligible for labor market subsidy until age 25. Eligibility is restored if they show proof of having completed vocational training.
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