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UJF: unemployment legislation reform “a step forward”

The UJF has welcomed the change to the government’s draft budget, which allows people to use the unemployment benefit they receive to start self-employment.

According to the government, the act on unemployment will be amended so that self-employment would not be considered in terms of being a primary or secondary occupation for the first four months after commencing it.

The issue is important from the perspective of freelancers attempting to build up their work profile. Previously, even doing small freelance assignments could mean loss of unemployment benefit, as the authorities would assess such activity as being fully-fledged self-employment. Employment and Economic Development Offices have judged primary and secondary occupations on different bases, and the UJF and many other trade unions have called for arrangements to be better clarified.

The UJF’s head of advocacy, Petri Savolainen, welcomes the change to the rules as a step forward.

“ The change will make it easier to accept freelance gigs during the period that there is no assessment of primary and secondary occupation. As a whole, the government’s changes to improve the position of self-employed tare rather small. There is still a need for reform,” Savolainen says.