Trade unions in Finland
If you become unemployed in Finland and you want earnings-related unemployment allowances, you need to be a member of an unemployment fund. You can choose to belong to an unemployment fund through a trade union or an unemployment fund that is independent of the trade unions.
Unemployment allowance system in Finland
In Finland, unemployment allowances are paid from two different systems. If you become unemployed and you are a member of an unemployment fund, you can get earnings-related unemployment allowances from your unemployment fund. If you are not a member of an unemployment fund, you can get basic unemployment allowance from the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela).
You can find more information on unemployment benefits in Finland and entitlement to these in the section Unemployment benefits in Finland.
If you become unemployed and you want earnings-related unemployment benefits, join an unemployment fund. To join an unemployment fund, contact the fund directly. You can find contact information for unemployment funds on the website of the Federation of Unemployment Funds.
You normally join an unemployment fund in the country where you work or whose legislation applies to you. Unlike many other systems, in Finland you can in some cases join an unemployment fund while unemployed, if you have moved from another Nordic country and you become a member of the fund within eight weeks of moving. In this case, when you join the fund you must provide a U1 form from your previous unemployment fund or the social security authority in your previous country of residence to prove previous insurance periods in EU or EEA countries. When you apply for the form, your membership ends in the previous fund. You can get more information from the unemployment fund for your sector or the Federation of Unemployment Funds.
Trade unions look after their members’ interests and promote the interests of employees, for example when it comes to wages and working conditions.
The majority of trade unions in Finland belong to one of the three large central organisations. You can find your own trade union through the central organisation.
- The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK (employees in industry, construction and transport, service sectors, wellbeing and the public sector)
- The Finnish Confederation of Professionals STTK (clerical employees in industry and service sectors, municipal and state officials, healthcare and parish employees)
- The Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland AKAVA (teachers, physicians, economists, lawyers, engineers)
Trade union members are insured in an unemployment fund, but you can join a fund without being a trade union member. Read about unemployment funds on the page Unemployment benefits in Finland
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