Finland: Government proposes to extend labour market support for entrepreneurs until the end of June

NordenBladet — Entrepreneurs and self-employed persons are entitled to labour market support because of the coronavirus pandemic under a temporary amendment to the Unemployment Security Act in force until the end of March. On 18 February 2021, the Government submitted a proposal to Parliament to extend the right of entrepreneurs and self-employed persons to labour market support until 30 June 2021. The aim is to ensure the livelihood of entrepreneurs and self-employed persons during the pandemic.

“The coronavirus pandemic is making it very difficult for entrepreneurs and self-employed persons to work, and unfortunately there is no quick relief in sight. It is clear that we need to continue their right to labour market support,” says Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen.“Labour market support for entrepreneurs plays a significant role during the pandemic. In the autumn, on average 22,000 persons received the support per month,” says Minister Haatainen.

Last year, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) paid labour market support to 44,000 entrepreneurs and self-employed persons for a total amount of EUR 165.7 million.What are the conditions for an entrepreneur to be eligible for labour market support?Labour market support is one form of unemployment benefits. Entrepreneurs and self-employed persons are entitled to labour market support under the temporary amendment whentheir full-time employment has ended orthe monthly income from their entrepreneurial activities is less than EUR 1,089.67 per each person engaged in these activities as an entrepreneur.

The end of the person’s full-time work or the reduction in income must be due to the coronavirus epidemic. Entrepreneurs and self-employed persons do not need to close down their business to be eligible for labour market support under the temporary amendment of the Unemployment Security Act. When entrepreneurs or self-employed persons close down their business, they became eligible to unemployment benefit under other provisions of the Unemployment Security Act.

The process of applying and receiving labour market support is as follows:
The entrepreneur registers as an unemployed jobseeker and provides an account of the termination of their full-time employment or decrease in income due to the coronavirus epidemic.The TE Office issues a labour policy statement to Kela.

The entrepreneur applies to Kela for labour market support.Kela pays the labour market support to the entrepreneur.

Epidemic-related exceptions to unemployment security to be extended
In addition to the extension of labour market support for entrepreneurs, the Government proposes to extend the increased exempt amount of the unemployment benefit and other exceptions to the unemployment security introduced because of the coronavirus epidemic.

The Government proposals are related to the first supplementary budget proposal for 2021. They will be discussed in Parliament alongside the supplementary budget proposal.


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