Membership of the unemployment fund
Unemployment Fund Pro is an employees’ unemployment fund, and its purpose is to pay its members benefits that fall under the responsibility of unemployment funds, as referred to in the Unemployment Security Act and other legislation. Pro pays its members earnings-related unemployment allowance for periods of unemployment and services promoting employment as well as mobility allowance for commuting, transition security allowance and job alternation compensation for periods of job alternation leave.
In order to be granted these benefits, a member has to meet the conditions specified in various laws and the rules of the unemployment fund. These conditions include the insurance condition, the working condition and the condition of paying membership fees.
The operations of the unemployment fund are regulated not only by its own rules, but also by the Unemployment Security Act, the Unemployment Funds Act and other laws and decrees.
Employees within the scope of application of the Unemployment Security Act who are less than 68 years of age can become members of Unemployment Fund Pro. There is no minimum age limit, but the working condition is accumulated from the age of 18. Furthermore, persons who are studying or training while gainfully employed can also become members of the unemployment fund, taking into consideration provisions of the Unemployment Security Act and the Unemployment Funds Act. Persons between 65 and 67 years of age may be entitled to daily allowance only in certain situations.
A person whose living is considered to be based on income earned by working for another party is regarded as an employee. A person considered to be an entrepreneur cannot become a member of Unemployment Fund Pro. See the definition of an entrepreneur.
Membership of the unemployment fund begins on the day of receipt of the written membership application, however, at the earliest on the day from which the member has paid their first membership fee. A member of the unemployment fund cannot simultaneously be a member of another unemployment fund. If a person transfers from one employees’ unemployment fund to another within a month, the periods of membership and employment accumulated during membership of the first fund will be transferred to the new fund. However, periods of membership and employment will not be transferred to the new unemployment fund if the person has been expelled from the previous unemployment fund due to a reason such as failure to pay membership fees.
The operations of the unemployment fund are supervised by the Financial Supervisory Authority. It also annually confirms the membership fee of the unemployment fund. In 2023, the membership fee is EUR 8 per month. The amount of the membership fee is primarily dependent on the unemployment rate of members.
If a member is also a member of Trade Union Pro, their membership fees are collected in connection with the payment of the membership fees of the trade union. In 2023, the membership fee is 1.25 % of earned income subject to withholding tax, however, no more than EUR 49 per month. Free members of the trade union who are employed pay an unemployment fund membership fee of EUR 8 per month (in 2023).
Membership fees are paid using membership fee references. If the member is also a member of the trade union their employer can deduct the membership fee directly from wages. A separate agreement has to be concluded if membership fees are collected by the employer. Details of the member and the employer are reported to the membership register of the trade union using an agreement form. An unemployment fund member who is not a member of the trade union cannot have their employer collect the fees on their behalf. The membership fee must be paid within three months of the period that the fee concerns.
The unemployment fund collects membership fees from the benefits it pays to its members. In 2023, the membership fee is EUR 0.34 per each day for which a benefit is paid. A member is released from the payment of membership fees during months when the member does not receive earned income or benefits paid by the unemployment fund. Membership fees are also not paid from benefits paid by Kela, for example. Information about the applicant’s period of unemployment, lay-off, job alternation leave, studies or training is automatically transferred from the unemployment fund to the register of members, which means that there is no need for the applicant to separately report this information.