Sometimes, looking for a job in another country is easier when you are actually there over a longer period of time.
To make this possible, you can continue to receive the Estonian unemployment insurance benefit while you are effectively in the other country. This arrangement is called “export of benefit”. It is possible within the European Union, and to Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
You will however have to take conditions and procedures into account.
Of course, you will need to inform us beforehand that you are going abroad to look for work. It is advisable that you would infrorm Töötukassa about your leaving at least one and a half weeks before leaving Estonia.
Another condition is that you have been registered as unemployed for at least four weeks. You should try to find work in Estonia first, before you expand your search. Of course, there might be good reasons for leaving sooner, for example because you have a concrete job offer in hand already, or you are following your partner who already works in the other country. In these cases, you may be allowed to leave sooner. However, to safeguard your rights to the benefit, you still have to ask your job mediation consultant before you leave the country.
To be able to receive the benefit abroad, you need a special form, which is called the form U2. This form is handed to you by Töötukassa, and contains the information concerning the period of benefit export and the deadline of registering as an unemployed in another country. To obtain a form, please contact your job mediation consultant, who will explain you the rest of the procedure. The authorities in your destination country may not register you as an unemployed without the form U2.
Lastly, you must register with the employment services of the country you are going to within seven days, and submit your form U2 to that institution or to another institution they refer you to. If you do not register, you will not receive the benefit. If you register too late, the benefit will only be paid from your registration onwards. You must also cooperate with the employment services at your destination, and follow the rules they explain to you.
Just like is the case in Estonia, the benefit is meant to help you look for a job. You will only receive a benefit when you are actively searching for employment. While staying in another country you are submitted according to the same rules that also apply to their own jobseekers. Payments of the benefit may be stopped when you do not follow the rules of the foreign job mediation services (for example refuse suitable employment) and you will not receive the benefit any more, when you take up a new employment abroad.
You can continue to receive your Estonian unemployment insurance benefit in another country of the European Union for a maximum period of up to three months, but of course not longer than you would have received it had you stayed in Estonia. The amount you receive is the same as you would have received in Estonia.
You can not continue to receive the unemployment allowance when you move to another country to look for work.
If you have found work in another Member State of the European Union, you will become subject to the social security system and the labour laws as they exists there. The same rules about paying taxes and social contributions and obtaining services and benefits will apply to you, as they apply for the people living within that country.
If you have not found work in the other country, you can simply return and continue your search in Estonia. In that case, you are required to notify the employment services of the country you have been staying in, about leaving the country. If you would just leave without any notice, the other country will think that you are still there and will continue the job mediation procedures, which may lead to penalties.
Once back in Estonia, you should present yourself to Töötukassa again, so that we can pick up efforts to find you a job in Estonia. If you still have a right to an unemployment insurance benefit, you must contact us before the period of benefit export ends, or you may lose your entitlement to the benefit.