Estonia – Estonia has a population of only 1.5 million people hence it does not have a very big welfare budget in either relative or absolute terms. However, unlike most countries, most of the welfare budget of Estonia is administered online. This keeps the cost low and allows the citizens to apply for all the benefits in one go, without having to fill out different types of paperwork again and again. The employers pay 2.8 percent and the workers contribute 1.4 percent of their salaries. The benefit levels are at 50 percent of the salary for the first 100 days, which is then reduced to 40 percent for the remainder of the time.
France – the unemployment benefits in France are amongst the most generous in all of Europe. The benefits are payable even on net salaries of around 6959 Euros. This seems to favor the high earners in France where the average salary is just over 2000 Euros. A spokesman for the benefits administration said that only 1000 people out of 2.6 million claimants receive the top amount of benefits. The benefits start coming in after 4 months of unemployment, and people under 50 can claim these benefits for two years while people above the age can claim for 3 years. The benefits are roughly 65 percent of the average salary.
Germany – under the social insurance system in Germany, unemployment premiums amount to around 3 percent of the worker's earnings, this is paid in half by the employer. Anyone who has been paying these premiums for one year over the last 2 years is entitled to the benefits. Those claimants with children can claim around 2/3 of their earlier salary while those without children claim below 60 percent. These benefits are also reduced by 30 percent if the claimant refuses to accept work, or does not try to find a job. People who work less than 15 hours can also earn around 165 Euros, and still be entitled to benefits.
Ireland – to qualify in Ireland for the job seeker’s benefit, you must be below the age of 66 and should have been unemployed for at least 3 days out of seven. The department of social protection also needs proof that you can work and have made enough contributions to social insurance. Claimants receive around 188 Euros every week and can receive extra is they have children. The claimants can be disqualified from their benefits if you decide to leave the employment voluntarily or are made redundant due to misconduct. The claimant’s age must be below 55 and those who receive redundancy of 55000 Euros will be disqualified too.
Italy – the unemployment rate in Italy is around 12.9 percent, hence benefits are especially critical. To qualify for the benefits, you must be insured with the National institute for social security for at least 24 months before being made redundant and should have made contributions for at least 52 weeks. Those who resign voluntarily are not eligible.