We have been involved in the preparation of the Incomes Register Act for a number of years. Launched at the beginning of 2019, the Incomes Register has also meant large-scale development of the Employment Fund’s own processes and data systems. The Incomes Register allows us to serve our customers more smoothly than previously.
2018 saw many major changes – and was hectic as a result. While the then Unemployment Insurance Fund was producing information for the preparation of the Incomes Register Act, we reformed many of our information systems and prepared our merger with the Education Fund, which resulted in the creation of the new Employment Fund. This was a period of constant learning for our personnel.
We prepared for the launch of the Incomes Register by recruiting more customer service personnel. We engaged in more active, diverse and extensive communication about the Incomes Register and our customer service reforms. Employers were informed in detail about the changes relevant to their operations, as well as of the benefits these offer. We will continue to apply this line of communication to any future reforms. Working in advance of the changes reduced the need for advice provision – the number of enquiries dealt with by our customer service was lower than we expected.
The Incomes Register makes transactions smoother for our customers, i.e. Finnish employers and recipients of benefits. Wage information is now entered only in the Incomes Register, where various parties are able to utilise it.
We now obtain wage information directly from the Incomes Register, which has allowed us to develop the billing of unemployment insurance premiums closer to real time. Most employers have chosen billing based on the new as-paid model, which is lighter to administer. In this model, based on actual payments, unemployment insurance premiums are billed quarterly on the basis of actual wages entered in the Incomes Register. Separate annual notifications and wage estimates for the next year have been eliminated.
Automation has made our operations more efficient in general, and we are now also able to issue decisions more quickly and efficiently. The Incomes Register has meant a huge leap for us in electronic invoicing. Paper notifications will soon be history. Electronic transactions are not only the most efficient but also the most secure way to handle matters related to unemployment insurance premiums.
We have managed to successfully complete this long-term project, which affected the entire organisation. The Incomes Register is an excellent new service. Our work to improve the customer experience even further continues. Next, we will focus on the development of benefit services so that we can also utilise the Incomes Register for adult education benefit services.
The Employment Fund is at the beginning of the journey, but we are moving forward – together, writes Katja Knaapila.
The buffer helps employers and employees avoid great fluctuations in unemployment insurance contributions.