Green light to a big unemployment fund

The Unemployment Fund of Finnish Industrial Workers, the Public and Welfare Sectors’ Unemployment Fund and the Unemployment Fund of Construction Sector have decided to start preparations for a merger to become a bigger unemployment fund. If the merger goes as planned, the new unemployment fund would start operations as of 1 of January 2022.

Negotiations to fuse three unemployment funds have been underway during the current year. Boards of the unemployment funds showed green light to further the initiative. The needs of all the parties involved in the process are equally taken into account when carrying out the possible merger. The business ID of the new unemployment fund could be established, for instance, on the current ID of the Industrial Unemployment Fund, which would simplify the merger process.

The new unemployment fund, yet unnamed, would become by far the largest unemployment fund with a trade union background and the second largest in the country. At the end of 2019, the Industrial Unemployment Fund had more than 139,000 members, whereas the Public and Welfare Sectors’ Unemployment Fund had 141,00 and the Unemployment Fund of Construction Sector had 45,000 members respectively. Thus the new unemployment fund would have more than total of 326,000 members.

Last year, the unemployment funds paid more than 403 million euros as benefits to 66,000 members. They also provide employment for up to 250 employees.

Lots of pressure has been put in changing legislation and the social security system, which not only favors the merger but also challenges the current approach how unemployment funds operate. The role of the unemployment funds and their personnel as experts with service duties is growing. One of the most significant aims of the merger is to provide best possible service to the members working in their sectors.

After the initial decisions, the plans to proceed the merger will include the publication of constitution to the new unemployment fund in January 2021. Binding decisions of a merger would be made next summer. At the earliest, the new unemployment fund could start its operations at the beginning of 2022.

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