On the 1st of April, a new law which enables workers to receive unemployment benefits came into effect.  The new law changes the qualifying period to receive unemployment benefits – the qualifying period is now calculated in total months worked as opposed to days; wages will be calculated based on the last 6 months of work. The period of eligibility to receive unemployment benefits is calculated from when the employee began to contribute payments towards national insurance up until the employee ceased work.

Workers who were ineligible to receive unemployment benefits under the previous law, and who remain out of work, may reapply for unemployment benefits under the new law.

The new eligibility period applies to all types of employees, as long as there is an accumulative amount of 12 months employment out of the 18 months preceding the period of unemployment.  One or more working days per month are calculated as a working month.

Unemployment benefits will be calculated based on the average wage in the last six months of work.