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Part-time job and earnings-related allowance

If you work part-time, do gig work or you are laid off to reduced working hours, you may be entitled to adjusted daily allowances. A condition for getting the allowances is that you are also registered as a jobseeker with the TE Office while you work. You must also meet the general conditions for earnings-related allowance, which you can find here. When earnings-related allowance is paid on an adjusted basis, the wages you earn reduce the amount of the allowance.  

You are entitled to adjusted earnings-related allowance in the following situations:  

  • you are in part-time employment initiated by your employer 
  • you have been laid off to reduced working hours 
  • you have taken full-time work lasting no more than two weeks
  • you have income from business activity or your own work (However if your business activity is full-time, you are not entitled to the allowance)

Work where the contractual minimum working hours are over 80% of the maximum working hours in the sector is considered full-time work. If your working hours are 35 hours a week, for example, your contract is considered full-time. If your minimum working hours do not exceed 80%, the work is part-time, even if more hours would have been available. If your contractual working hours are, for example, 25 – 37.5 hours a week, the work is part-time, even if you have actually worked the higher number of hours.  

Adjusted earnings-related allowance is applied for in wage periods. If your wages are paid monthly, you also make your applications monthly. If the wage period is four weeks, the application period is also four weeks. If your wage payment period is different from one month or four weeks, the period that is closest to your wage period is used. Under the law, other application periods are not possible.   

Earnings-related allowance is generally adjusted on a payment basis (lay-off situations are an exception to this). Payment-based adjustment means that wages paid during the period being applied for affect your allowances regardless of when the work was done. Therefore, there may be an application period in which you have worked but your wages have not yet been paid. In this case you are paid full daily allowances. Alternatively, there may be months during which you have been paid wages even though you have not had any working hours.

The amount of earnings-related allowance is affected by earned income exceeding the protected amount. The protected amount is 300 euros for a monthly period or 279 euros for a four-week period. Wages below the protected amount do not affect your daily allowances at all. Earned income above the protected amount is adjusted with your allowance.  

Example #1

Part-time work starts on 9.2.2021. You complete an application for the period 1.2.2021 – 28.2.2021 and enter the days and hours you have worked. Wages for the first wage period (9.2.2021 – 28.2.2021) are paid on 15.3.2021. Because there are no payment dates during the application period of 1.2.2021 – 28.2.2021, a full earnings-related allowance is paid in February 2021.  

Example #2  

Part-time work ends on 18.2.2021. You complete an application for the period 1.3.2021 – 31.3.2021 and report being unemployed for the entire period. Wages earned in the period 1.2.2021 – 18.2.2021 are paid on 15.3.2021. A wage payment day falls in the application period 1.3.2021 – 31.3.2021, so daily allowances for March are paid adjusted with the wages paid on 15.3.2021. 

Full-time work, sick pay etc.

Wages earned from periods of full-time work lasting over two weeks are never adjusted. Work is considered to be full-time if the number of working hours is less than 80 % of full-time work.

Wages earned during waiting periods or during sick pay granted by Kela are other  examples of earnings that are not adjusted. On the other hand, for example, wages earned before becoming a jobseeker are adjusted. If necessary, you can get more detailed information from the Unemployment Fund on what wages affect daily allowances.  

Wages from part-time work and daily allowances can at most total the wages forming the basis of your earnings-related allowance. In calculating this maximum amount, wages are taken into account in full and the protected amount is not deducted. 

Example 1

The wages that your daily allowances are based on are 1580 euros and the full daily allowance is 51.65 euros. You work part-time and are paid wages of 1400 euros. The protected amount - 300 euros - is deducted from your wages, so the adjusted wages are 1100 euros. This means that the wages reduce daily allowances by 25.58 euros/day. But because daily allowances and wages cannot  total more than 1580 euros, the allowances paid are 1580-1400=180 euros.   

 Adjusted earnings-related allowance is also compared to the amount of basic unemployment allowance paid by Kela. The amount of earnings-related allowance paid is always at least the same as what the basic unemployment allowance would be.  

Example 2

The wages that your daily allowances are based on are 1580 euros and the full daily allowance is 51.65 euros. You work part-time and are paid wages of 1600 euros. The wages are more than the wages that the allowances are based on, so the maximum amount rule means that no daily allowances could be paid. The amount of basic unemployment allowance is 33.78 euros (in 2021). Deducting the daily wage effect of 30.23 euros from basic unemployment allowance gives adjusted allowances of 3.55 euros a day. So you are paid earnings-related allowance of 3.55 euros/day.  

You are entitled to adjusted earnings-related allowance if the number of hours according to the payment period of the wages paid during the application period does not exceed 80% of the full-time working hours in the collective agreement applicable in the sector. If there is no collective agreement in the sector, the working hours are compared to the maximum working hours in the Working Hours Act, which are 40 hours a week.  

Example  

You work as a sales assistant in a grocery store. You apply for daily allowances for January 2021. In February you are paid wages for 132 hours. The working hours of full-time employees in the commerce sector are 37.5 hours a week and on average 161.25 hours a month. 80% of this is 129 hours. Because the number of hours paid to you exceeds 80% of the working hours of a full-time employee, you are not entitled to daily allowances for January.  

 If you are laid off from full-time work, your working hours are monitored on a calendar week basis. In these situations applications must always be completed based on the wage period, but in any case up to the end of the week in which the wage period ends. So applications must always end on Sundays. If, say, your application period is per calendar month and the month in question ends in the middle of the week, you complete your application up to the following Sunday.

Accrual of the work requirement is monitored on an earnings basis. This means that daily allowances are calculated taking into account the wages earned in the period for which the allowances are being calculated. In order to monitor the work requirement, the fund sometimes needs additional information not available in the Incomes Register data. This includes, for example, wage information for periods of sick leave or annual holiday. To speed up processing of your application in these situations, attach a copy of your wage slip to your application.  

Because monitoring of the work requirement and adjustment of daily allowances are done on different bases, in situations where the work requirement is met the fund may have to wait for subsequent wage information in order to re-calculate daily allowances.