Helsinki benefit supports employment – new conditions compatible with state subsidies

The Helsinki benefit is a discretionary form of support granted by the City of Helsinki, available for private and third-sector employers that employ a Helsinki resident who has been unemployed for a long time or is at risk of long-term unemployment.
Apartment buildings and a park in autumn.
Photo: © Jussi Hellsten / Helsinki Partners

The City Board’s Economic Development Sub-committee approved the new conditions for granting the Helsinki benefit on 11 September 2023. The conditions entered into force as of the date of the decision. 

The Helsinki benefit lowers the costs of the start of an employment relationship. During the supported period, the employer has an opportunity to familiarise and commit a new employee and increase their working life skills and know-how. 

The benefit is paid to the employer, and the employer pays the employed person a salary. The maximum amount of the benefit is €800 per month. The sum is affected by the employer’s hiring expenses and any other support paid for them. The benefit is paid for a maximum period of 12 months. In the case of an apprenticeship, the benefit can be paid for the entire duration of the apprenticeship period.Granting the Helsinki benefit requires that a pay subsidy has been granted for the employment relationship.

Key changes to the benefit conditions

The Helsinki benefit is now granted for the expenses of hiring an unemployed Helsinki resident. As with before, the Helsinki benefit granted for salaries can also be applied to apprenticeships. The Helsinki benefit for employment management previously covered four different support forms. The benefit could be granted for a salary, employment, a pay-subsidised apprenticeship and assignments in project-based work. The grounds for granting the Helsinki benefit have since been changed to make them more compatible with state-granted pay subsidies and employment subsidies for ages 55 and above.

The Helsinki benefit has been used to employ 1,015 Helsinki residents in two years

A total of roughly four million euros was granted as Helsinki benefits in 2022, used to employ 542 Helsinki residents. In 2021, roughly 2.7 million euros were spent on Helsinki benefits, with a total of 473 Helsinki residents employed.

One of the key objectives of the Helsinki City Strategy for 2021–2025 is to achieve a business-positive city that increases the likelihood of finding employment. The Strategy sets the availability of competent labour and employment as specific areas of focus in terms of national supervision of interests. The Strategy emphasises seeking joint employment management solutions across municipality borders. The new conditions for granting the Helsinki benefit are in line with these objectives. The conditions were prepared in collaboration with the Cities of Espoo and Vantaa. The objective is to establish municipal supplement conditions for employers that are as consistent and simple as possible across the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.   

More information

Renewal of the instructions for granting the Helsinki benefit for employment management   (in Finnish)
Decision proposal, meeting of the City Board’s Economic Development Sub-committee on 11 September 2023 

Helsinki benefit for employers  

Helsinki benefit for job seekers