The Finnish government submitted a proposal to Parliament on Wednesday to extend the right of entrepreneurs to labour market support for three more months, until the end of September.
According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the aim is "to ensure the livelihood of entrepreneurs in the uncertain situation" caused by the coronavirus pandemic.The temporary right of entrepreneurs to unemployment benefit currently in force was scheduled to end on 30 June 2021.
“While coronavirus epidemic shows signs of subsiding, it will take some time before demand will resume and business activities return to normal in all sectors. Labour market support has been one of the key tools to support entrepreneurs during the coronavirus crisis and we consider extending it necessary at this time,” Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen says.
According to data from Kela, 22,500 entrepreneurs on average received labour market support each month in the early part of 2021.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment estimates that the extension would apply to around 22,000 entrepreneurs a month unless the epidemic and employment situation changes significantly.
The government proposal on labour market support to entrepreneurs is included in the third supplementary budget proposal for 2021. Extending the temporary amendment until the end of September is estimated to increase spending on unemployment security by about 48 million euros.
For all entrepreneurs regardless of sector
The temporary extension to entrepreneurs’ right to unemployment benefit entered into force on 8 April 2020. The extension made entrepreneurs eligible for labour market support in a situation where the amount of work or income received from business activities has decreased due to the pandemic.
The right to claim labour market support applies to all entrepreneurs regardless of whether they engage in business as self-employed people or in the form of a company. Support can be granted to entrepreneurs in all sectors.
Closing down the business is not a condition for being entitled to labour market support. When entrepreneurs or self-employed persons close down their business, they become eligible to unemployment benefit under other provisions of the Unemployment Security Act.
How can entrepreneurs apply?
- 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 this subsidy to the entrepreneur.