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Entrepreneurs entitled to unemployment security due to coronavirus epidemic

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 2.4.2020 14.30
Press release

The Government proposes that, as a temporary measure, entrepreneurs would also be entitled to labour market support on the grounds of sudden and unforeseen decline in the demand due to the coronavirus epidemic. The aim is to ensure the livelihood of entrepreneurs. The act should enter into force as soon as possible and it would remain in force until 30 June 2020.

In many sectors, the consequences of the coronavirus epidemic have seriously weakened the operating conditions of entrepreneurs.

“The situation caused by the coronavirus to many entrepreneurs is quite unreasonable, and now we wish to support them in a number of ways. Entitling full-time entrepreneurs to unemployment benefits is one of these. We want to make it as easy as possible for the entrepreneurs to apply for it and get the payments,” Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen says.

What are the conditions for entrepreneurs to be entitled to labour market support?

The decision concerns all entrepreneurs regardless of whether they engage in business as self-employed persons or in the form of a company.

What is required to be eligible for labour market support:

  • full-time employment of the entrepreneur has ended or
  • monthly income from entrepreneurial activities is less than EUR 1,089,67 per each person engaged in it as an entrepreneur.

The termination of full-time employment or decrease in income must be due to an extensive outbreak of an infectious disease, i.e. the coronavirus epidemic.

What is not required to be eligible for labour market support:

  • termination of entrepreneurial activities,
  • termination of an insurance policy under the Self-Employed Persons Pensions Act,
  • measures to close down the business.

Studies are no obstacle to being eligible for labour market support.

How does an entrepreneur apply for labour market support?

A condition for the payment of labour market support is that a person registers with the Employment and Economic Development Office as a jobseeker and the TE Office gives a labour policy statement on his or her entitlement to labour market support to the Social Insurance Institution Kela.

In practice, the process is the following:

  1. The entrepreneur registers as an unemployed job seeker and provides an account of the termination of full-time employment or decrease in income due to the coronavirus epidemic.
  2. The Employment and Economic Development Office gives a labour policy statement to the Social Insurance Institution Kela.
  3. Kela pays the labour market support to the entrepreneur.

Labour market support may be paid for the period 16 March 2020–30 June 2020. If the entrepreneur registers as a job seeker no later than 15 April 2020, he or she is entitled to the labour market support for the time preceding this, provided that the eligibility conditions are fulfilled.

Act to enter into force as soon as possible

The Government gave the proposal concerning temporary amendments to the Unemployment Security Act to Parliament on 2 April 2020. The Government considers it important that the amendments would enter into force as soon as possible due to the negative impacts of the coronavirus epidemic on business activities. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment will communicate on the entry into force of the act when it has been passed in Parliament and the President of the Republic has confirmed it.

Inquiries:
Eeva Vartio, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 150 116 (questions by the media)
TE Services information on unemployment security, tel. +358 295 020 701 (questions by entrepreneurs)

: Unemployment security in coronavirus situation https://www.kela.fi/web/en/corona

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