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UJF on change to unemployment law

The UJF has made a submission to parliament’s Social Affairs and Health Committee on the government draft bill amending the Unemployment Security Act.

In the draft bill the government mentions self-employment alongside business activity. The UJF welcomes this, as the creative sectors not only comprise salaried work or business activity but also self-employment of many kinds.

The union supports this change to the draft bill whereby primary and secondary occupations in business activity will not be assessed during the first four months of starting it. During this period, job seekers would continue to receive unemployment benefit.

The union had feared that by separating self-employment into primary and secondary occupations, freelancers would be at a disadvantage if they take up extended that do not provide full employment, as such work could be classified as a primary occupation and therefore lead to loss of benefits.

The union also supports the decision to make the change to the law an indefinite and not a trial measure. But it points out that the amendment should not only apply to the onset of unemployment but also to periods when people start on self-employment following the loss of full-time work.