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It pays to be a fund member from a young age


  • Income security
  • Studies

Students have a lot to gain from being a member of the unemployment fund. It’s a good idea to think about joining the unemployment fund as soon as you start your first summer or part-time job.

Anyone aged 18 or over who is a member of the unemployment fund and meets the conditions for receiving a daily allowance, such as being in employment, is entitled to a daily allowance.

In practice, receiving an earnings-related daily allowance means that if you become unemployed or are laid off, you will receive more money than if you are not covered by the unemployment fund. The amount of earnings-related daily allowance depends on the salary you were receiving before you became unemployed or laid off. On average, the earnings-related daily allowance is about twice as much as the basic daily allowance or labour market subsidy paid by Kela.

You cannot join the unemployment fund once you have become unemployed. It is therefore important to anticipate and join when you are in paid employment.

Accumulate your working condition already from summer or part-time work 

All paid work – including summer jobs and part-time work – accumulates a working condition, which is a prerequisite for receiving the earnings-related daily allowance. Summer or part-time work earns you the same conditions as any other paid job.

You meet the working condition when you have worked at least 18 hours a week for 26 weeks. In addition, your pay must be in line with the collective agreement. Check your employment contract to see which collective agreement applies to your employment relationship.

Autumn 2024 will bring changes to the working condition. The required length of the working condition will increase from 26 weeks to 12 months, i.e. from half a year to a year. In addition, the working condition will be based on salary and no longer on working time, as is currently the case. This may affect the way in which the working condition is recorded during temporary work.

Remember these:

  • Join the unemployment fund (YTK) on your first day of work.
  • Whenever you work at least 18 hours a week, you will accumulate one week of working condition.
  • When you have 26 weeks, you meet the working condition and can get unemployment benefit if you become unemployed.
  • You do not have to meet the working condition continuously. It is enough to complete it within a 28-month reference period.
  • You can extend the reference period up to seven years by studying.

Normally, the working condition must be met within a 28-month reference period, but full-time studies extend the reference period by up to seven years. Periods of study do not count towards the 28-month reference period. Periods of military and civilian service also extend the reference period for the working condition.

So in practice, you can meet the working condition even if you only worked during the summer, for example, while you were studying. The main thing is that during the reference period you have worked in a job that meets the work requirement for the required 26 weeks, for at least 18 hours per week. To take advantage of this possibility, you must join the unemployment fund while you are working and keep your membership of the unemployment fund for the duration of your studies.

Can you get unemployment benefit as a student? 

You cannot receive unemployment benefit and study allowance at the same time. The primary form of support for full-time studies is student financial aid and unemployment benefit is usually only available after the end of the full-time studies.

In such situations, for example, you may be entitled to a earnings-related daily allowance, as long as you have accumulated the weeks required for the working condition:

  • You do not continue your studies after secondary education, but enter the labour market but later become unemployed or are laid off.
  • You do summer work during your years of study, but you do not find a job immediately after graduation.
  • You work summer jobs and part-time jobs before your military service, but you cannot find a job after your military service.

As a combined member of the YTK, you benefit the most

You can complement your YTK fund membership by also becoming a member of the YTK Worklife . For an additional annual fee of only 24 €, you get, among other things:

  • legal advice on employment matters
  • job search coaching
  • accident insurance for leisure time
  • an online training library with thousands of training courses
  • a wide range of wellness and sports benefits

Read more!

YTK Worklife student membership costs just 12 €/year. You can become a student member as soon as you start your studies, but remember that it does not include membership of the unemployment fund. When you start summer or part-time work, you should also join the unemployment fund.

Check out the YTK Worklife student membership!