Protected employment is, above all, for people who are not ready to immediately accept a position due to a disability or state of health which prevents them from working under normal working conditions. Therefore, they need constant guidance to find and start a job.
Protected employment means that an individual with decreased working ability can work within their abilities at the appropriate pace in a disability-friendly environment that provides the necessary guidance, advice and assistance.
Protected employment prepares you to secure employment on the open labour market and provides support to start a job and at the beginning of the work period. As a result of protected employment, you will be able to work on the open labour market either independently or with the help of a support person.
The protected employment service is provided to individuals registered as unemployed who:
- have been declared permanently incapacitated for work under the State Pension Insurance Act or established as having partial work ability under the Work Ability Allowance Act or a disability under the Social Benefits for Disabled Persons Act;
- are unable to immediately work on the open labour market due to decreased productivity and the need to receive extensive work and social guidance as a result of their state of health or a disability;
- are able to perform work with a specific purpose for around at least 20 hours per week (4-5 hours per day). The person is not required to be able to work 20 hours per week at the beginning of the service. The goal is to be able to do this after a minimum of one year.
If you are interested in participating in the protected employment service, talk about it with your search & selection consultant or case manager.
The protected employment service is divided into three stages which can last in total for up to two years. Stage 1 includes the working ability assessment of the client, training and practice of working skills, development of working habits and finding suitable jobs which the individual can perform under protected conditions. During Stage 2 a person with decreased working ability works under protected conditions, but they are also provided with advice and support to find a job on the open labour market. During Stage 3 an individual with decreased working ability moves from protected employment to the open labour market and the support of the service provider gradually decreases.
The activities that take place in Stages 1 and 2 correspond to an individual action plan which is prepared for each client and submitted to the Unemployment Insurance Fund by the service provider. The action plan must include specific activities for each day the service is provided.
Stage 1 activities take place on the premises of the service provider or employer. Stage 1 includes:
- the assessment of which jobs you would like and are able to do;
- the development of working habits, training and practice of working skills and practices;
- the establishment of which jobs you could perform under protected conditions, finding appropriate jobs or customising workplaces and adjusting work management;
- the provision of advice and support in resolving social and other problems to facilitate employment.
During Stage 1 you are registered as unemployed and you are paid grants and commuting and accommodation benefits.
During Stage 2 you work for a service provider or an employer in a workplace which provides protected employment conditions. Stage 2 includes:
- entering into an employment relationship;
- support and guidance in performing work under protected employment conditions. Where possible, you work every day, but at least 10 days per month;
- the provision of advice and guidance for job seeking, incl. assistance in communicating with employers;
- upon finding a job, the assessment thereof and, if necessary, the provision of advice to the employer and co-workers in communicating with you and/or customising duties to suit your needs;
- the provision of advice to your friends and family to support your employment.
During Stage 2 your registration as unemployed is terminated. If necessary, you can apply for commuting benefits.
During Stage 3 you have a normal job on the open labour market, receiving gradually decreasing support from the service provider. Stage 3 includes:
- guidance and support in the new workplace as needed, but at least during the first week;
- if necessary, the provision of advice to your employer and co-workers;
- if necessary, the provision of advice to your employer to customise the workplace and/or duties to suit your needs;
- regular contact between you, your service provider and your employer to prevent any setbacks;
- if problems arise, finding solutions together;
- the provision of advice to your family and friends on how to support your employment when the protected employment service is no longer provided;
- if necessary, preparing to work with the support of a support person when the protected employment service is no longer provided.