Around 1,000 unemployed lose benefits each month for violating unemployment fund rules

The offices of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund. Photo is illustrative. (Postimees/Scanpix)
12/16/2014 12:27 PM
Category: Society

Each month the Unemployment Insurance Fund strikes about 1,000 people off its list for violating rules, such as not turning up for a monthly meeting with the fund's advisers.

The main violations are not turning up, not applying for jobs or not accepting jobs offered, although there is a three strike rule, meaning all job seekers will have to break a rule three times to be ejected, Eesti Päevaleht reported.

Around 3,000 people have managed to find a job in both October and November and there are other reasons for people leaving unemployment benefits, such as conscription or death, and about 500 choose to leave voluntarily each month.

According to the rules, job seekers have 20 weeks to find a job which fits their location, education and previous pay grades, and after that the unemployment office can offer any jobs to a candidate.

The current unemployment benefit rate in Estonia is 50 percent of the previous salary for the first 100 days, after which the rate drops to 40 percent.

The number of people registered as unemployed at the fund was 26,403 at the end of November, around 600 more than a month earlier. The official unemployment rate is 7.5 percent, slightly higher than in the summer, when traditionally there are more jobs, but down 0.3 percentage points compared to the same time a year ago. The number of people without a job is around 51,000, according to Statistics Estonia.

J.M. Laats, S. Tambur, M. Oll

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