Working and seeking employment abroad

If you are going abroad to work, contact us to clarify how you can retain your right to employment security. We will also advise you on matters relating to fund membership. If you are seeking employment in another EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you should first contact the TE Office to find out if you qualify for continued unemployment benefits.

Working in EU/EEA countries and Switzerland

Insure yourself in case of unemployment at your country of employment because, as a rule, you are covered by the unemployment security of the country you work in. You can transfer periods of insurance as you move from one EU/EEA country to another. In terms of insurance, it does not matter whether you live in the country you work in.

In EU/EEA countries, you are insured for unemployment on the basis of work. Sweden and Denmark have similar unemployment fund systems as Finland. In these countries, you must join a local unemployment fund to insure yourself in case of unemployment.

If your employment relationship ends and you become unemployed, you are covered by the unemployment security of your country of residence. The country where you live permanently is usually considered the country of residence. Claiming unemployment benefits requires that you are available to the labour market in the country where you are applying for the unemployment benefit. If you return to Finland after the end of employment, you can join the unemployment fund as an unemployed person. You must join within one month of your unemployment insurance expiring in another EU/EEA country.

Employment in the EU/EEA area can be taken into account for the employment condition in Finland under certain conditions. You can bring the employment and insurance periods you have accrued with you to Finland using the U1 form. The U1 form is an internal form in the countries of the EU/EEA area for transferring employment and insurance periods from one country to another.

Claiming earnings-related allowance is subject to meeting the employment and membership conditions. Employment in another EU/EEA country can be taken into account when reviewing these conditions where necessary.

You should request the U1 form from the authorities of your country of employment as soon as you are returning to Finland as obtaining the form can take a long time in some countries. The form is required upon joining the Unemployment Fund of Finnish Industrial Workers, and we will not be able to process your membership and daily allowance application before you have submitted the U1 form. Similarly, if you need a U1 form in another EU/EEA country, you can request it from us.

Remember to keep all documents relating to employment.

Working in Nordic countries

Sweden and Denmark have similar unemployment fund systems as Finland. The work you have done in these countries can be taken into account in the employment condition for earnings-related allowance if you have been a member of an unemployment fund in that country.

Unemployment funds in Sweden: sverigesakassor.se

Unemployment funds in Denmark: https://danskeakasser.dk/

In Norway and Iceland, you are insured in case of unemployment on the basis of work. In these countries, you do not need to separately join an unemployment fund for your work to be taken into account in the employment condition for earnings-related allowance. Always check the unemployment security requirements from the authorities of that country before starting work.

After the end of employment in another Nordic country, you can join the Unemployment Fund of Finnish Industrial Workers even if you are unemployed. You must join within one month of your unemployment insurance expiring in the previous country. For a Nordic returnee, the joining period is eight weeks. In Sweden and Denmark, unemployment insurance expires when membership in a local unemployment fund ends. In Norway and Iceland, unemployment insurance expires when insured employment ends.

Employment in Nordic countries can be taken into account for the employment condition in Finland when you submit the U1 form to the fund. Your application cannot be processed until the form is submitted. Daily allowance must be applied for within three months.

In addition, work can be taken into account for the employment condition in Finland when, after returning, you have been employed in Finland for at least four calendar weeks fulfilling the employment condition (does not apply to Nordic returnees). Employment is not required if you have lived in Finland during the work.

You are a Nordic returnee if you have lived in another Nordic country and worked or claimed a basic unemployment allowance or earnings-related allowance from Finland during the last five years.

  • As a returnee, you can join the Unemployment Fund of Finnish Industrial Workers within eight weeks of your unemployment insurance expiring in the previous country.
  • As a returnee, you are not required to work in Finland for four weeks before the work in another Nordic country can be taken into account for the employment condition in Finland. The daily allowance of a returnee is calculated from the income last earned in Finland.

Working as a frontier worker

You are a frontier worker if you live in Finland, work in another country but visit your country of residence at least once a week. Frontier workers are insured by the unemployment security system (unemployment fund) of their country of employment.

If you are laid off or are partially unemployed, apply for a daily allowance from the country where you work. If you become completely unemployed, apply for a daily allowance from your country of residence.

Determination of place of residence

You are considered a resident of Finland if you live permanently in Finland even if you work in another EU/EEA country. If you live in another EU/EEA country, that country is considered your place of residence even if you work in Finland.

When determining the place of residence, the things reviewed include, for example, your permanent address, how often you visit your country of residence and where your family lives. In addition, the nature of your employment is considered. Determining the place of residence is always reviewed on a case-by-cases basis in connection with the daily allowance application. The unemployment fund cannot issue a decision on the place of residence in advance.

Working outside the EU

Work done outside the EU area (EU/ETA countries and Switzerland) cannot be taken into account in the employment condition for a daily allowance, and it does not extend the employment condition review period. This requires that you have worked a sufficient amount or been absent from the labour market for an acceptable reason while in another country. The work done in another country must be such that, if done in Finland, it would be taken into account for the employment condition in Finland.

If you are absent from the labour market without an acceptable reason for more than six months, you will lose your previously accrued employment condition and not be entitled to a daily allowance.

Posted worker

You are a posted worker if you are posted by your employer to work in another country and the insurance contributions from your salary are still paid to Finland, but the work is done in another country. You must be covered by Finnish social security throughout the posted period.

Your membership in the Unemployment Fund of Finnish Industrial Workers must also be valid throughout the posted period. Since the insurance contributions from your salary are paid to Finland, the work is comparable to the work done in Finland, which is why you must remain a member of the unemployment fund in Finland.

The decision on being covered by Finnish social security must be applied for in advance, before moving to the country of employment. The decision on the matter is issued by the Finnish Centre for Pensions or Kela. The decision is applied for from the Finnish Centre for Pensions when you are going to work in a country with which Finland has a social security agreement (e.g. the EU area, Australia, Chile, Canada and the US). The decision is applied for fromKela when Finland does not have a social security agreement with the country of employment (e.g. China, Russia).

If your employment relationship ends and you become unemployed, the amount of daily allowance is calculated from the salary for insurance purposes paid to you. The salary for insurance purposes is the salary from which the employer has paid the statutory insurance contributions to Finland. The salary for insurance purposes may differ from your salary abroad, so you should always check the salary amount that your employer has reported as the basis for insurance contributions.

Seeking employment in the EU

You can seek employment in EU/EEA countries and Switzerland and claim an earnings-related allowance from Finland for up to three months. This requires that you have been registered as an unemployed jobseeker with the TE Office for four weeks before your departure. Participation in employment promotion measures also counts towards this period of four weeks.

You must notify the TE Office of your departure to seek employment. The TE Office will issue a statement on the matter to the unemployment fund. Request a U2 form from us at least two weeks before your departure to seek employment. With the U2 form, you prove your right to seek employment.

Register as a jobseeker in the country where you are seeking employment within seven days of leaving the Finnish labour market and transferring to the labour market of the target country. Earnings-related allowance can then be paid out from the date of departure. The last registration date is indicated on the U2 form. If the registration takes place later, daily allowance can only be paid out from the date of registration.

Once you have registered as a jobseeker, the authorities of the country where you are seeking employment will submit the SED U009 Notification of Registration form to us. We will notify the TE Office of the received form. The payment of your earnings-related allowance will be suspended when you leave to seek employment from the day preceding the departure date until the SED U009 form arrives. We will pay out the daily allowance based on the SED U009 form and the application you have submitted if there are no other obstacles to payment.

If you find employment during the job search, please report it to the local employment authorities and submit a daily allowance application to the fund normally. Daily allowance will be paid to you up to the day before the start of the employment and again after the end of the employment if the employment is a full-time job lasting more than two weeks. Adjusted daily allowance will be paid if the employment is a part-time job or a full-time job lasting a maximum of two weeks. Remember to attach all documents related to the employment to the application submitted to the fund.

When you return from seeking employment, register as an unemployed jobseeker with the TE Office in Finland within the period of validity of the PD U2 form so that the daily allowance can be paid out after the trip to seek employment. Otherwise, the daily allowance cannot be paid out until you have worked or participated in the training assigned by the TE Office in Finland for a minimum of four weeks.