In 2016 the Unemployment Insurance Fund has more opportunities to help people with decreased working ability secure employment and to provide support for employment.
Jobseekers who are facing difficulties finding a job due to a disability or decreased working ability are supported by suitably qualified advisers. Upon employing a person with decreased working ability, employers are advised and supported by employers’ consultants in every county.
As of this year, the Unemployment Insurance Fund will also pay mobility benefits to cover the travel costs of those who accept positions further away from home, and employers can now more easily apply for permission to fill a position by employing an alien.
New services for people with decreased working ability
- Work rehabilitation
Work rehabilitation is for individuals who encounter a number of barriers due to a disability or illness and who need the help of specialists (a rehabilitation team) to recover or maintain their working ability.
According to the needs and purpose of work rehabilitation agreed on with the Unemployment Insurance Fund, a person with decreased working ability can select a suitable service provider from among the fund’s cooperation partners who are licensed by the Social Insurance Board. The work rehabilitation service may last for up to one year, with the Unemployment Insurance Fund covering up to 1,800 euros.
- Protected employment
The protected employment service provides employment opportunities to people who are unable to immediately find a job or perform work.
Protected employment means that individuals can work within their abilities at the appropriate pace and in a suitable environment. At the same time, they receive advice and guidance as well as help finding a job on the open labour market. By the end of the service, the objective is for the client to be able to work at least 20 hours a week and to be ready to accept a position on the open labour market.
- Peer support
A peer counsellor is a person who has a similar disability or illness to that of the person they are advising. The objective of peer support is to find opportunities and solutions which help a person with decreased working ability to cope with their daily and working life as independently as possible.
- Commuting benefits
If a person is unable to commute to work by public transport due to a disability or illness and has to use a private car, taxi or special transport, the Unemployment Insurance Fund will partially compensate additional commuting costs. Benefits are paid for up to 12 months within a three-year period. The benefits are not required to be used consecutively – only in those months when they are needed. The amount of the benefits is 93 cents per kilometre, but no more than 26 euros per day or 300 euros per month. Income tax is deducted from the benefits. The benefits are calculated on the basis of a certificate issued by the employer regarding the number of days worked and the distance between the individual’s home and workplace.
- Travel cost compensation for an accompanying person
If, upon commuting by public transport, a person with decreased working ability requires the assistance of an accompanying person, the Unemployment Insurance Fund compensates the travel costs of the person who accompanies them to and from work. These costs are compensated for each day they are required on the basis of cost receipts, but no more than 26 euros per day.
New services for employers who employ a person with decreased working ability: advising and training, and wage subsidies under favourable conditions
We offer training and provide advice to employers with the aim of raising their awareness and readiness to employ people with decreased working ability and support their employment.
Employers are granted subsidies under favourable conditions if they employ a person with decreased working ability who has been registered as unemployed for at least six months or has worked under protected employment conditions. The Unemployment Insurance Fund pays wage subsidies of 50% of the employee’s gross salary. If the employment contract has been entered into for an unspecified term, the subsidies are paid for up to 12 months. In the case of a specified term (of at least six months), the subsidies are paid for half of the duration of the employment relationship, but no more than 12 months.
Mobility benefits help people find work further from home
If a person has been registered as unemployed for at least six months and they find work more than 30 kilometres from their home, the Unemployment Insurance Fund will pay them mobility benefits to commence work. The benefits are paid in the first four months of working in the amount of 10 cents per kilometre, up to a maximum of 200 euros per month, and are subject to income tax. The benefits are calculated on the basis of a certificate issued by the employer regarding the number of days worked and the distance between the individual’s home and workplace.
No mobility benefits are granted to residents of greater Tallinn (Tallinn, Harku municipality, Saue and Saue municipality, Saku municipality, Kiili municipality, Rae municipality, Jõelähtme municipality, Maardu and Viimsi municipality) to commute to work in the same area.
Applying for permission to employ aliens has become easier
Employers can now apply for permission to fill a position by employing an alien without having to submit the data for the alien employee in question. Therefore, employers are no longer required to submit documents which prove the suitability of an alien employee for a position. Permission may be also applied for in order to fill several positions at the same time.
An alien who has been issued with a temporary residence permit can now work simultaneously for several employers registered in Estonia, and as a temporary agency worker in a user undertaking. This means that the alien does not have to apply for permission from the Unemployment Insurance Fund when starting work with another employer.