Light entrepreneur’s unemployment security during COVID-19

Due to the Corona situation, there have been temporary changes made regarding the unemployment security. Both part-time and full-time entrepreneurs have easier access to unemployment security, regardless of the business form. As a self-employed person, unemployment insurance and its size depend on whether you are considered a full-time or part-time entrepreneur. Here are more detailed instructions for full-time and part-time entrepreneurs.

Full-time or part-time entrepreneur: temporary right for labour market support

The law about the right of entrepreneurs to unemployment security came into effect on April 8th, 2020. Entrepreneurs may receive temporary labour market support due to the sudden and unexpected decline in demand caused by the Corona virus epidemic. The solution applies to all entrepreneurs, regardless of the form of business. The law is valid until December 31st, 2020. Read the announcement by TE-services.

Labor market support can be paid from March 16th, 2020 to June 30th, 2020. If an entrepreneur registers as a jobseeker no later than 15th of April 2020, he or she is entitled to labor market support retroactively starting from March 16th. However, support  can only be received once the conditions are met.

Under what conditions does a light entrepreneur receive labour market support?

To receive labour market support, you must:

  • have ended full-time work as a light entrepreneur or
  • earn an income of less than EUR 1,089.67 per month from full-time light entrepreneurship

Termination of full-time employment or loss of income should be due to Corona virus epidemic. Receiving labor market support does not require the termination of business operations or the validity of YEL insurance.

How does a light entrepreneur apply for labour market support?

In order to receive labour market support, a person must register as a jobseeker with the Employment and Economic Development Office (TE Office) and the TE Office must issue a labour policy statement on their entitlement to labour market support to the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela).

If an entrepreneur’s job search has been valid and they have already received a decision on unemployment security during the first temporary legislative amendment, the entrepreneur must act in a manner agreed with the TE Office in the future.

The process is as follows:

  1. Register as an unemployed jobseeker and provide an account of the termination of your full-time employment or decrease in income due to the Coronavirus epidemic. The quickest and easiest way to register as a jobseeker is to use the TE services’ “Oma asiointi” online service. The online service is only available in Finnish and Swedish.The jobseeker must provide the TE Office with a report on the business sector and how the serious infectious disease and the resulting restrictions and recommendations have caused the termination of full-time work. Alternatively, the jobseeker should provide the TE Office with a report on the income from the business, and the decrease in income should be due to a serious infectious disease.For the statement, you may need an assignment certificate prepared by us and your own written statement of what happened. You can request an assignment certificate from us by email at or by calling 09 4247 5634. Due to an exceptional situation, we will deliver the assignment certificates faster than usual, you will receive the certificate no later than the next working day following your request.
  2. The TE Office issues a labour policy statement to Kela.
    The light entrepreneur applies to Kela for labour market support. Kela has built an online application for entrepreneurs’ unemployment security. You can apply for the labour market support in Kela’s online service.
  3. Kela pays the labour market support to the light entrepreneur.

Please note that if you are a member of SYT fund, the earnings-related daily allowance paid by the SYT will continue to be paid only for members of the fund who have ended their business activities.

Part-time entrepreneur: right to adjusted unemployment benefit


I only work occasionally

If you work only a little bit as a light entrepreneur, the TE office can determine that you are unemployed working part-time. Part-time work as a light entrepreneur does not prevent the payment of unemployment benefits. In these situations, unemployment benefits can be paid as adjusted benefit. This means that your income from business activities is taken into account in the amount of unemployment benefit. Income therefore reduces the benefit to some extent.

I am a student or laid-off and work as a part-time entrepreneur

If you are studying full-time or have been laid off from work and are invoicing as a light entrepreneur on a part-time basis, your studies and entrepreneurship will not prevent you from receiving unemployment benefits. KELA and the Unemployment Insurance Fund take into account business income and student benefits when paying an adjusted unemployment benefit.

Starting from April 1st, 2020, a laid-off person has the right to unemployment benefit during lay-off even if they were engaged in business activities or studies. The amendment provides easier and quicker access to unemployment benefit to those who study or engage in business activities while laid off.

The payment of unemployment benefit to a person who has been laid off will still require that the person registers as a jobseeker at the TE Office. The obligation to accept work offered by the employer will continue during lay-off.

The TE Office will not investigate a refusal to accept work offered from the TE Office by a person laid off, or any negligence related to an employment plan or another similar plan or service.

The law will be applied to those who were laid off starting from March 16th 2020 and after. The change is temporary until December 31st, 2020.

2000 € support for self-employed entrepreneurs

Self-employed entrepreneurs can apply for support from municipalities in the event of a Coronavirus. The application is made from the municipality of the business. The support amounts to EUR 2 000 and is paid at once. The support is granted to cover the expenses caused by entrepreneurial activities. The support may be granted for costs incurred between March 16th and August 31st, 2020.

The support is depended on the fact that the Self-employed entrepreneur’s financial situation and turnover have deteriorated as a result of the Coronavirus epidemic after March 16th, 2020, and on the entrepreneur being considered to have the conditions for a profitable business. A self-employed entrepreneur means a full-time entrepreneur engaged in economic activity in Finland and does not have a paid workforce. An entrepreneur is full-time if he or she is on the YEL register or can present an annual entrepreneurial income or invoicing of at least 20,000 euros. The support does not depend on the legal form of the action or the method of financing it.

The relationship between self-employed entrepreneur’s support and unemployment benefit has been re-aligned so that the supports do not affect each other. An entrepreneur can apply for both self-employment support and unemployment insurance. They are not reconciled, i.e., getting one does not affect getting the other or the amount of it.

Municipalities will open the application to self-employed entrepreneurs as soon as possible. A self-employed entrepreneur can apply for the support from the company’s home municipality, i.e. the home municipality according to the YTJ register. Each municipality organizes the application in an appropriate way, either electronically or on paper forms. Municipalities advise entrepreneurs in their search and process applications in the order of arrival.

Read more about the support (in Finnish)

Infectious disease allowance

Kela compensates loss of earnings during quarantine. An YEL insured person may receive compensation for an infectious disease based on his YEL earnings, but also an uninsured person may be eligible if certain criteria are met. If you work while studying or work partially while unemployed, and you are forced to stay away from work due to an infectious disease, you may be eligible for infectious disease allowance.

Read more about infectious disease allowance

Useful links

Q&A’s about entrepreneurs’ right to unemployment security | TEM

Basic daily allowance calculator (only in Finnish) | KELA

Labour market support calculator (only in Finnish) | KELA

Entrepreneurs’ access to unemployment security and income support in Corona situation (in Finnish) | KELA

Do you need help?

If you have any questions, we are happy to assist you in any way we can. You can contact our customer service at 09 4247 5630 Mon-Thu 9am–5pm and Fri 9am-4pm, or by email


Updated 13.8.2020