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Helsinki benefit instructions for applicants

These guidelines apply to applications for the Helsinki benefit received by the City of Helsinki Executive Office on or after 8 June 2018 and are valid indefinitely. The guidelines set out the benefit amount, duration and detailed bases for granting of the benefit, as well as application guidelines and forms. The application guidelines are updated if necessary when the operating plan and budget are drawn up, to correspond to the current labour market situation, the state pay subsidy guidelines and appropriation reservations.

The City of Helsinki encourages and financially supports employers who offer work to an unemployed resident of Helsinki. Employers can apply for the Helsinki benefit granted by the City of Helsinki’s Economic Development Division. The benefit is always discretionary. The pay subsidy granted by the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office) can be claimed at the same time as the Helsinki benefit.

The Helsinki benefit can be applied for as a recruitment or employment subsidy. After the recruitment or employment subsidy period, it is also possible to apply for the recruitment bonus.

The decision-making process adheres to the Helsinki benefit application guidelines and general guidelines on grants provided by the City (pdf) (in Finnish)

The Helsinki benefit granted to business operators is always a de minimis grant (in Finnish).

Criteria applicable to employers and employment

The employer must either be registered as resident in Helsinki or operating from premises in the Helsinki employment area. The employer must have appropriately arranged facilities and at least one person in a full-time supervisor role for whom pay subsidy is not being claimed.

The hired person’s working hours must be at least 30 hours a week. For apprenticeships, the minimum working hours are 25 hours a week.

The employee’s salary must be in accordance with the relevant collective agreement. If there is no binding collective agreement in the sector, the pay must be at a level regarded as normal and reasonable (min. €1,300/month). The salary may not be based solely on the results of the work.

The subsidy must not lead to the employer terminating the employment of or laying off other employees, or making other employees part time. Recruitment and employment subsidies 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, and to employees who work part time. Employment terminations and lay offs are not an obstacle to the subsidies being granted if the employer is not obliged to offer work to the employees whose employment has been terminated or who have been laid off.

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.

Recruitment subsidy

The recruitment subsidy can be applied for by all employers operating in the Helsinki employment area.

The subsidy is intended:

- to pay costs arising from hiring the employed person (or apprentice), other than salary costs, when no other form of support is being paid for these. Such costs include facility, equipment, workwear, orientation and guidance costs.

Target groups:

The recruitment subsidy can be applied for by employers operating in the Helsinki employment area, when hiring a job seeker, living in Helsinki, who meets one of the following criteria:

• aged 18–29 and has been unemployed for at least six months
• aged 30–64 and has been unemployed for at least 24 months during the prior 28 months.

Or who meets one of the following criteria:

• The job seeker has been claiming Kela’s labour market subsidy based on unemployment for at least 300 days.
• The job seeker is a customer of the multidisciplinary joint service for the promotion of employment (Helsinki TYP).
• The job seeker is an unemployed person to whom the municipal employment obligation is applicable (Act on public employment and business service, chapter 11, section 1).

In addition, the subsidy can be granted to separately specified customers of employment trials of the City of Helsinki’s employment services who are in the recruitment subsidy target groups.

Amount and duration:

The amount of the recruitment subsidy is €500 per month, and it can be paid for 1–10 months depending on the length of the employment.

Employment subsidy

The employment subsidy can be applied for by employers operating in the Helsinki employment area:

• who do not run commercial operations (e.g. associations and foundations)
• companies when hiring a disabled person (the pay subsidy is based on a permanent or long-term disability or illness affecting work performance).

The subsidy is intended:

- For the hired person’s salary costs alongside pay subsidy granted by the TE Office.
- Combined, the TE Office’s pay subsidy and the City’s Helsinki benefit employment subsidy must not exceed the overall salary costs.

Target groups:

- unemployed and disabled residents of Helsinki for whom the TE Office has granted pay subsidy for 50–100% of salary costs.

Amount and duration:

The amount of the employment subsidy is a maximum of €800 per month, and it can be paid for 1–10 months depending on the length of the employment. If the TE Office’s pay subsidy and the employment subsidy combined exceed the overall salary costs, the surplus is subtracted from the amount of the Helsinki benefit.

Recruitment bonus

The one-off recruitment bonus of €1,500 can be applied for by the employer once the employment it concerns has continued uninterrupted and fulfilling the Helsinki benefit criteria for at least 16 months (six months after the recruitment or employment subsidy period). If requested, the employer must provide the employee’s payslips and other documents related to the employment.

Application for and payment of Helsinki benefit

The Helsinki benefit can be applied for by filling in the Helsinki benefit application form (pdf), application form (Word).  Applications completed in accordance with the guidelines should be submitted, with any appendices, by post to the Economic Development Division.

Postal address
PL 20 (Unioninkatu 28 A)
00099 Helsingin kaupunki 

The filled-in and signed application with any appendices can also be scanned and sent online via the secure connection to (instructions can be accessed by clicking the question mark symbol).

It will generally take approximately four weeks for a decision to be issued. The Helsinki benefit can be applied for retrospectively after the employment has commenced, however this must be done during the same calendar year.

Payment of Helsinki benefit

The Helsinki benefit is paid in advance for a maximum period of 10 months to the bank account indicated in the application, within approximately two weeks of the written decision. The employer commits to spending the subsidy on the recruitment or salary costs of the person hired with the Helsinki benefit.

Monitoring the use of 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 handling of the Helsinki benefit for monitoring the use of the Helsinki benefit. If the Helsinki benefit is granted on the basis of incorrect information or spent on other uses than what is specified for the subsidy, it can be recovered from the applicant. The subsidy can also be recovered if the employer fails to deliver the requested information.

Termination of the employment

If the person for whom the subsidy was awarded does not begin the job, terminates their employment, or has their employment terminated, the Helsinki benefit processor must be informed immediately. The impact of the termination of employment or the employment ending for another reason on the Helsinki benefit will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. When employment is prematurely terminated, the proportion of the Helsinki benefit intended for the remainder of the period will be recovered.

Training opportunities for persons hired with the Helsinki benefit

Employees hired with the Helsinki benefit have access to the employment courses of the City of Helsinki, including a range of short courses and language courses, as well as job seeker training. For any training related matters, in the first instance please email:

Enquiries and more information on the Helsinki benefit

Enquiries on the Helsinki benefit can be emailed to

Planning Officer Mirkka Kesti-Helia, tel. 040 198 5891
Planning Officer Sonja Vuorela, tel. 040 183 3021

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

Tuulia Rauhala-Kaltio, tel. 040 146 9448, tuulia.rauhalakaltio(at)
Heidi Lihr, tel. 040 621 2603, heidi.lihr(at)
Maria Honkanen, puh. 040 610 1696, maria.honkanen(at)
Sami Rapp, tel. 040 663 4687, sami.rapp(at)
Arja Kukkonen, tel. 040 655 5403, arja.h.kukkonen(at)

31.01.2020 14:10