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Finland's activation model stage two on the way

Jobseekers in Finland will in future have to apply for four jobs a month or have their benefits cut, according to new proposals from the government.

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Image: Minna Rosvall / Yle
Yle News

Unemployed people will be required to make at least four job applications every month, according to new proposals from the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Employment in a proposed reboot of its controversial activation model.

Unemployed benefit recipients will be required to report their progress online, and produce a personalised employment plan, aimed at getting them into work.

The proposed 'activation model 2' will also alleviate some of the penalties imposed for failing to meet all obligations as a jobseeker, according to Yle's sources. The new measures are due to be sent out for consultation after the Midsummer holiday, which this year falls on the weekend starting on 22 June.

The initial 'activation model' mandated jobseekers should undertake at least 18 hours of paid work in a 65-day monitoring period, or join an approved job-related training scheme, earn 241 euros as an entrepreneur or face a 4.65 percent cut in benefit payments.

Warning first, benefit cuts later

Those rules have been lambasted by critics for increasing bureaucracy, punishing people who are actively seeking work in ways not recognised by the regulations, and for allowing wide variance in application of the measures by individual officials.

According to Yle's sources, the new rules will mean jobseekers will receive a warning the first time they fail to meet the requirements. The second time, the unemployed person will face either 30 days without benefits or a percentage cut in payments. The third time they break the rules they will face 60 days without unemployment benefit payments.

The government is aiming to bring the new proposals to parliament in the autumn. The minister responsible, Jari Lindström of the Blue Reform party, said that he would offer more detail on the proposals after consultations with labour market organisations during this week and the next.

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