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Will freelancers be left without unemployment security?

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 4.12.2015 15.20
News item

The definition of entrepreneur is suggested to be changed within the unemployment security system. In a video interview, Ministerial Counsellor Esko Salo explains how the definition will be changed and why. He also tells whether freelancers will be left without unemployment security.

Link to video interview:

Text version of the interview

How is the definition of entrepreneur going to change?

"At the moment, a person is considered to be an entrepreneur if he or she is obliged to take out a pension insurance policy in accordance with the Act on the Self-Employed Persons' Pensions Act. From now on, also those self-employed persons would be considered to be entrepreneurs who are not obliged to take out a pension insurance policy because, for example, their annual income remains under the insurance limit."

Why is this changed?

"The change will be made because we change the scope of application of unemployment insurance premiums. At present, the premiums are regulated by the Accidents Insurance Act but we will define a special scope of application in a new funding act. Therefore we need to define in more detail who is obliged to pay insurance premiums and who isn't. Entrepreneurs are not obliged to pay insurance premiums."

Is the change going to weaken the status of people employing themselves? Will freelancers, for example, be left without unemployment security?

"The change will not weaken their status in any way.  The regulations to be applied to self-employed at the moment will be the same next year. No change is going to happen there. Those freelancers who are now entitled to unemployment security when they carry out temporary jobs will be entitled to unemployment security next year too, when carrying out temporary jobs."

Why is this change opposed?

"Opposing it may depend on the common misunderstanding that unemployment security would not cover entrepreneurs. This is a misconception. An entrepreneur who does not work full-time is entitled to unemployment security. This is the situation now and it will remain the same from now on."

Interview: Krista Kukkanen
Video: Kimmo Vainikainen

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