News / 07.12.2015

Unemployment legislation still needs clarity

The UJF has reiterated its positive response to government plans to reform unemployment security legislation in that they simplify the position of people by categorizing everyone whose work is not in wage-earning employment as self-employed.

But the union says that the draft legislation still fails to address the problems that may affect freelancers and other self-employed people (see web news of 24.11.2015).

The problem concerns the potential loss of unemployment benefits by people who work for very few hours a month and their work is considered a main occupation.

Under the definition of mainline and sideline occupations by TE Offices (Employment and Economic Development Offices), a person can be considered as having a main occupation on the basis of a single small assignment, which leads to loss of eligibility to unemployment benefits.

At the same time the proposed legislation would mean that self-employed people deemed wage earners would have to give up their YEL cover for their main occupation to be considered a secondary activity. Loss of YEL insurance would result in a loss of earnings related unemployment benefits.

The union has proposed that the government should revise these aspects of the draft legislation, the point being to lower rather than raise the threshold for finding work.

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