Trade union-administered unemployment benefit and precarious workers in Finland

Young-Kyu Shin, Petri Böckerman

Research output: Other contribution


The Nordic countries have some of the highest trade union rates of membership in the world. This has by some been attributed to unemployment insurance being largely administered by trade unions. Since around 1910, unemployment insurance in the Nordic countries Denmark, Finland and Sweden has been based on a voluntary system (‘Ghent’), rather than the compulsory system which is common in most other welfare states. However, since 1992, these countries have reformed their insurance schemes, which has had a negative effect on union density. In 1992, Finland introduced an independent fund which is not linked to trade unions, and this has provided workers with a greater number of options concerning unemployment benefits. To workers with low or precarious incomes, the cheaper option of the independent fund can be attractive. While it seems clear that different types of precarious workers choose different types of unemployment insurance options, the introduction of funds not linked to trade unions is likely to have contributed to the already decreasing level of trade union membership in the Ghent countries.
Original languageEnglish
Publication Year19 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2020
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Fields of Science

  • 5141 Sociology
  • 5142 Social policy

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