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The Estonian digital society has an ever-evolving ambition to become an e-state with automatic e-services available 24/7. A 2019 report about international digital life by the InterNations expatriate network ranked Estonia first out of 68 countries on the best place to live a connected digital life.
Our particular success story is about an unemployment insurance service portal.
Helmes has been helping lead the way into a top-notch digital environment for a state organization called the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (EUIF). Its role is to administer the unemployment insurance provisions related to unemployment and to organize labor market services that support unemployed persons finding new jobs.
The organization offers a variety of services not only for the unemployed but for all people as well as for employers. Starting from financial support and compensation, counseling services, supportive courses, and training for qualifications upgrade, etc.
The challenge was to optimize this part of the state apparatus by fully digitalizing their processes. It has been both demanding and exciting to support Helmes’ customer along this journey over the years. The complexity of the situation was that these solutions we have developed together with the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund had not existed before. Therefore, on a parallel track, the Estonian state has had to make changes to laws and regulations to make it all possible.
The expected effects of the digitalization were to:
- Simplify the workflows and make the processes paper-free;
- Save a significant number of working hours and waiting hours/days for the clients;
- Decrease the administrative tasks and hence enable more working hours for advisory services;
- Make the organization and its processes cost-efficient and save taxpayers money;
- Offer positive user experiences for citizens.
Unemployment insurance services in real-time
The portal offers a full list of administrative services and also many advisory services via the digital environment. These services include registering oneself as unemployed, submitting applications for compensation and benefits, and receiving feedback and conclusions. Previously, this all took days and weeks to process. Today, the majority of the decision-making process is made by the systems, and the citizens receive feedback in few minutes.
At the self-service portal, you can:
- Register yourself as unemployed within a minute.
- Fill in an application form and see the verdict for unemployment benefit (also in a minute) and financial support for the period of unemployment, for starting a new business, for enhancing qualifications, etc.
- Fill in the workability assessment application and fill in an application for disability compensation.
- View and update personal data, view submitted applications, and received conclusions/decisions and compensations paid.
- Create a CV at ease in a couple of minutes with prefilled data from different national registers.
- Search and apply for jobs with machine learning in helping to provide the best match between job seekers and job vacancies, view a personalized job search scheme, agreed activities, and due dates.
- Search and register for suitable courses and training sessions.
- Interact with the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund, provide necessary reports, send feedback about your job hunt, and fill in the job search diary.
Road to the advanced digital journey
The EUIF`s self-service portal is an open window to the state apparatus for the citizens. It is integrated with more than 50 different registers and the Insurance Fund’s inner proceeding systems that allow access to a vast amount of information about the person. The system provides a person with a simple view and saves him/her from the complicated processes that take place for a background.
This access saves time and makes communication with the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund swift since most necessary applications can be prefilled with existing data starting from contact details to previous job experiences.
Top-notch functionality within deadlines; yes, it is possible
There were two main quality requests for the system:
- Easy management. This means that the system is controllable and continuously monitored, including the status and significant functioning parameters.
- Stability. The system has to be able to keep on functioning if errors have been detected.
Helmes has been able to build a system that not only reaches these expectations but also exceeds them.
Proven stability even at the time of crisis
The coronavirus crisis of 2020 has surprised most of the world with its virulency and the havoc it has caused in the economy. Countries have moved fast to save companies and jobs. Most of the EUIF’s customers moved online, the usage doubled, rush hours traffic quadrupled and at the same time, everyone in need still got serviced. It proved that not only the work with EUIF’s inner processes with serving customers were done right in the upcoming 10+ years, but everything else when it comes to developing such systems and its architectural standpoint were done right as well. The success of the system is a perfect example, how the long term digitalization strategy of EUIF is starting to pay off more and more.
Helmes has proactively helped us to develop the self-service portal that more than 50 percent of our customers use. Our self-service is a well-accepted tool by job seekers, career changes employers, and partners and is gaining momentum year after year. The most significant impact of the job mediation module is that we can provide better and faster matches between the people and job ads. The cooperation between Helmes and the Unemployment Insurance Fund in creating a self-service portal has been agile, flexible and we have been able to react to rapid environmental changes, as was the case in 2020 emergencies and lockdowns. Helmes is a strong link in our larger team of development partners to provide the necessary services to our customers and to contribute to the implementation of e-government in Estonia.Indrek Mõttus – IT development manager