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Helsinki-benefit instructions for applicants

The terms of the Helsinki-benefit have been updated. The new terms apply to applications received by the City Executive Office from 1 January 2020 onwards.

The City of Helsinki will grant the Helsinki-benefit to employers who hire unemployed Helsinki residents for the private sector or volunteer sector. The decision-making process adheres to the decision by the Economic Development Sub-committee of the City Board, 3 February 2020, Section 4 and the general guidelines on grants provided by the City (in Finnish). The benefit is always discretionary.

Companies and associations that run commercial operations can apply for support in the form of de minimis grants (in Finnish). The employer must present a summary of the de minimis grants received during the current tax year and two previous tax years.

Helsinki-benefit vouchers

Helsinki-benefit vouchers are distributed through the City’s employment services to unemployed Helsinki residents for whom future employers can claim Helsinki-benefit to hire. The voucher is submitted as an appendix to the Helsinki-benefit application.

Helsinki-benefit application form

Helsinki-benefit application form, word or
Helsinki-benefit application form, pdf

Who can apply for the Helsinki-benefit?

The Helsinki-benefit is available to employers in the private and voluntary sectors. The employer must have appropriately arranged facilities and a supervisor for whom pay subsidy is not being claimed to manage the hired person. The subsidy must not lead to the employer terminating the employment of or laying off other employees. The Helsinki-benefit can be granted if the employer has provided work in accordance with the Employment Contracts Act to employees whose employment has been terminated or who have been laid off for financial or production-related reasons, or when there is no re-employment obligation.

The employer must not have incurred significant non-payments of tax or statutory payments. Additionally, employers running commercial operations must not be operating a company in difficulty as set out in the General Block Exemption Regulation, and the employer must not be the subject of an unpaid recovery order based on a European Commission decision.

For which kinds of employment can Helsinki-benefit be used?

The Helsinki-benefit can be used for fixed-term or permanent employment. The required minimum duration of employment is one (1) month. The employment relationship supported with the Helsinki-benefit must fulfil the requirements for working hours and salaries that entitle the employee to unemployment allowance (Unemployment Security Act 1290/2002, Section 5:4). The hired person’s working hours must be at least 18 hours a week, and their salary must be in accordance with the relevant collective agreement. If there is no binding collective agreement in the industry in question, the salary must be at a level regarded as normal and reasonable and based on factors other than just the results of the work. For pay subsidy apprenticeships, the minimum working hours are 25 hours a week.

What are the alternative support forms of the Helsinki-benefit?

The granted Helsinki-benefit is affected by the rules of state subsidies, other financial support granted for employment, and the limits set by the EU on public subsidies for commercial companies and associations. This is why the Helsinki-benefit is allocated either for salary costs, other costs related to employment (costs related to things such as supervision, orientation, equipment, workwear and facilities), or commissioned one-time jobs or projects. You cannot apply for multiple support forms of the Helsinki-benefit at the same time.

Target group of the Helsinki-benefit: unemployed Helsinki residents

• Who have been unemployed for 12 months or longer OR
• who have been receiving labour market subsidy due to unemployment for 200 days or longer OR
• customers of Helsinki unemployment services whose service needs have been assessed regarding the Helsinki-benefit (the customer has received a Helsinki-benefit voucher) OR
• for whom the state has granted pay subsidy due to disability or illness affecting work performance (applicable to the Helsinki-benefit for salary).

Alternative forms of support

1. Helsinki-benefit for employment

Who can apply?
Companies and associations that run commercial operations

For which purposes can the benefit be used?
• To pay costs arising from hiring the person, other than salary costs, such as facility, equipment, workwear, orientation and guidance costs when no other form of support is being paid for these.

Amount: 500 euros per month
Duration: 1–12 months based on the duration of employment

2. Helsinki-benefit for salaries

Who can apply?
All employers in the private or voluntary sectors

Conditions for the benefit: the Helsinki-benefit for salary costs requires that the employment has been granted pay subsidy based on Chapter 7 of the Act on Public Employment and Business Service (916/2012) (hereinafter referred to as ‘state pay subsidy’)

For which purposes can the benefit be used?

• For salary costs to complement the state pay subsidy
• The total combined sum of the Helsinki-benefit and the state pay subsidy must not exceed the total salary costs of the employment relationship or the maximum sum set for the employer regarding the state subsidy.
• The state pay subsidy and the Helsinki-benefit may only amount to a maximum of 100% of the salary costs when the applicant is an association that does not run commercial operations or when the state pay subsidy has been granted due to disability or illness that affects work performance.
• In other cases, the Helsinki-benefit and the state pay subsidy may amount to a maximum of 50% of the salary costs for companies and associations that run commercial operations.

Amount: a maximum of 800 euros per month
Duration: 1–12 months based on the duration of employment

3. Pay-subsidised apprenticeship

Who can apply?
All employers in the private or voluntary sectors

For which purposes can the benefit be used?
• Associations that do not run commercial operations may apply for Helsinki-benefit for salaries.
• Companies and associations that run commercial operations may apply for the Helsinki-benefit for employment or salaries for the first year, and for the Helsinki-benefit for salaries after the first year.

Conditions for the support: the Helsinki-benefit for pay-subsidised apprenticeships requires that state pay subsidy has been granted for the employment

Amount: based on the above conditions and the purposes of the support
Duration: at the maximum, for the entire duration of the apprenticeship

4. Commission

Who can apply?
Companies and associations that run commercial operations. An employer may apply for the Helsinki-benefit for a maximum of two commissions per year.

For which purposes can the benefit be used?
For a one-time completion of a job or project. The commission may be performed through a co-operative, company or a ‘light entrepreneurship’ solution.

Amount: a maximum of 50% of the total commission sum and only up to 1,500 euros
Duration: the commission contract must include the end date for the commission, and it must take matters related to unemployment security and employer obligations into account. More information on unemployment security.

Obsolete form of support: Helsinki-benefit recruitment bonus

The Helsinki-benefit recruitment bonus ended on 1 January 2020. However, for employment relationships started in 2019 or earlier, under the decision of the Helsinki City Board, 9 January 2017, Section 19, on the granting of the Helsinki-benefit, and the application instructions approved by the Director of Economic Development on 8 June 2018, Section 56, a recruitment bonus of 1,500 euros may be paid if the criteria are met. The criteria for the recruitment bonus include that the employment must have lasted for 6 months after the 10-month period of Helsinki-benefit recruitment or employment. The employer must attach the salary slips for these 16 months to the recruitment bonus application.

Applying for the Helsinki-benefit

The Helsinki-benefit must be applied for during the calendar year when the employment of the person hired with the benefit starts or started. However, the Helsinki-benefit may only be requested for a period of 12 months, at the maximum. If an apprenticeship lasts longer than 12 months, you will need to file a new application for the Helsinki-benefit for each period, the maximum duration of a period being 12 months.

The Helsinki-benefit can be applied for by filling in the Helsinki-benefit application form:

Helsinki-benefit application form, word or
Helsinki-benefit application form, pdf

Please send the applications and appendices electronically via the secure connection to

Alternatively, you may also send the applications and appendices by post:

Economic Development
PO Box 20 (Unioninkatu 28A)
FI-00099 City of Helsinki

Payment of the Helsinki-benefit

The Helsinki-benefit is paid two weeks after the decision by an office holder, after the appeal period has ended. The Helsinki-benefit is paid in one instalment based on the duration of the employment and for a maximum period of 12 months. The employer will commit to using the Helsinki-benefit for the purposes stated in the decision.

Monitoring the use of the Helsinki-benefit

If requested by the City of Helsinki, the employer must provide any documents related to the employment and other documents required in the processing of the Helsinki-benefit for monitoring the use of the benefit. The use of the Helsinki-benefit is also monitored with random inspections at workplaces. If the Helsinki-benefit is granted on the basis of incorrect information or spent for purposes other than those is specified for the subsidy, it can be recovered from the applicant. The subsidy can also be recovered if the employer fails to provide the requested information.

Termination of the employment

If the person for whom the subsidy was awarded does not start the job, terminates their employment, or has their employment terminated, the Helsinki-benefit processors must be informed immediately. When employment is prematurely terminated, the proportion of the Helsinki-benefit intended for the remainder of the period will be recovered.

Free education services during the Helsinki-benefit period

During the period of receiving the Helsinki-benefit, you are entitled to use the free education services of Helsinki’s employment services. The person hired with the Helsinki-benefit may also apply for financial support for education that is subject to a fee. More information on education opportunities is available via

Enquiries about the Helsinki-benefit

Enquiries on the Helsinki-benefit can be emailed to

Planning Officer Mirkka Kesti-Helia, tel. +358 (0) 40 198 5891
Planning Officer Sonja Vuorela, tel. +358 (0) 40 183 3021

If your enquiry is related to recruitment, please contact the Economic Development Division’s business services:

Business Pilot Heidi Lihr, tel. +358 (0) 40 621 2603,
Business Coordinator Arja Kukkonen, tel. +358 (0) 40 655 5403,
Business Coordinator Tuulia Rauhala-Kaltio, tel. +358 (0) 40 146 9448,

01.12.2020 13:55