Unemployment security: FAQ

Do you have questions regarding your unemployment security? Here, you can find information related to entrepreneurial activities and part-time employment, among other topics.

In the case of self-employed people, the criteria regarding the termination of business operations are different from those related to the termination of corporate entrepreneurship. Under the Unemployment Security Act, the entrepreneurial activity of a sole trader is seen to have ceased when production and financial/economic activities have ended according to a notification by the jobseeker deemed reliable, or it is otherwise evident that the entrepreneurial activity is no longer being continued. It is an additional requirement that entrepreneur's pension insurance (YEL) or farmer's pension insurance (MYEL) has been cancelled, except for MYEL taken out for a grant period. In practice, the TE Office will, before the matter is decided, send a written request for clarification/further information regarding the entrepreneurial activity. 

When you start entrepreneurial activity while unemployed, in general the TE Office will not assess whether the business enterprise is full-time or part-time in the first four months of the entrepreneurial activity. The full- or part-time nature of your entrepreneurial activity will be assessed by the TE Office four months after the enterprise starts. 

The entrepreneurial activity may involve such a small workload that it can be regarded as part-time as far as the unemployment security system is concerned. An enterprise cannot, however, be considered part-time simply because the income is negligible or non-existent. 

It is the workload required for the entrepreneurial activity that is decisive in deciding whether it is full- or part-time. The income earned form the entrepreneurial activity or its non-existence is of no direct relevance to the matter of its employment status. 

A requirement for receiving an unemployment benefit is that you are registered as a jobseeker with a TE Office, and that you are looking for and prepared to accept full-time employment that matches your capacity for work. If you receive a partial disability pension, you only need to look for part-time work. 

If your employment relationship ends, register as a jobseeker with the TE office. The TE Office will determine whether your entrepreneurial activity is part-time with reference to how small the workload is that is required for the enterprise. Your entrepreneurial activity may also be considered part-time if you have undertaken full-time work at the same time as engaging in your business activity for at least six months or you have, while an entrepreneur, fulfilled the condition regarding a salary earner’s previous employment, doing part-time work, for example. Entrepreneurial activity may also be deemed part-time if accompanied by full-time advanced study lasting for at least six months while the business activity is being undertaken. A jobseeker is always under an obligation to inform the TE Office of any changes to the scope of the enterprise. If, for example, the business expands, the TE Office will judge whether or not the activity can continue to be regarded as part-time. 

Work undertaken via a billing service cooperative is considered to be in the context of an employment relationship if you have entered into a contract of employment with the billing service cooperative in question. It is an additional requirement that the cooperative can be seen, in general, as assuming the status of employer. To be considered an employer, it is necessary for the cooperative, for example, to provide in its own name the services you are employed to undertake. The cooperative cannot be held to be an employer if it only provides information on job opportunities or, say, takes care of the billing for the work done by its members. In such situations, an employment relationship can only exist between the billing service cooperative and, for example, the person responsible for issuing invoices. 

Work done via a billing service cooperative is not generally within the context of an employment relationship. The TE Office will assess to what extent work completed under an employment relationship affects your entitlement to an unemployment benefit with reference to the provisions of the Unemployment Security Act on entrepreneurs. 

Jobseekers are entitled to unemployment security if they meet the other conditions, and if their employment in entrepreneurial activity lasts for a continuous period of no more than two weeks. The TE Office will not send a request for further information or determine the effect of a short period of entrepreneurial activity on the entitlement to unemployment security. If such entrepreneurial activity is full-time, it will not prevent the entitlement to unemployment benefits. 

Inform the party paying your unemployment benefits of any new period of employment, and it will make a decision on your entitlement to unemployment security. In order to receive an adjusted unemployment benefit, you must be a full-time jobseeker registered with the TE Office. If you receive a partial disability pension, you only need to look for part-time work. 

Despite the fulfilment of the formal requirements governing the cessation of activities, an enterprise may nevertheless be regarded as continuing, where, for example, someone is obviously trying to cover the financial risks associated with the business by means of unemployment benefit. The jobseeker may have several simultaneous or successive assignments. If the assignments follow one another continuously without even a day’s break, the enterprise has not ceased its operations in a manner described in the Unemployment Security Act. 

Whether or not someone is to be regarded as an entrepreneur comparable to a salary earner is always confirmed afterwards. If the other requirements are met, an entrepreneur comparable to a salary earner may be paid unemployment benefits when he or she stops receiving assignments. 

Those considered self-employed are, for example, informal carers. TE Services' unemployment security advice can tell you how your situation may affect your unemployment security.  

Please notify the TE Office if you work or start to work as an informal carer.  

If you cannot find an answer to your question, call the TE Services’ telephone service for personal customers.