3.5.2017

Akava introduces a programme to improve the position of entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals

Akava’s new thematic programme to improve the position of entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals highlights 21 proposals that would promote full-time and part-time entrepreneurial activities and self-employment.

“It is only through the improvement of the attitude towards and conditions supporting entrepreneurial activities in Finland that we will achieve an employment level of more than 70 per cent. Instead of juxtaposing employment and self-employment, the focus must be on finding common win-win scenarios. This is the motivation for Akava’s 21 proposals for action,” states Sture Fjäder, President of Akava.

Akava emphasises that the level of social security for sole entrepreneurs and self-employed persons must be brought closer to that of wage and salary earners, thereby preventing them from falling through the cracks. This means, for example, the reform of unemployment security by developing the system of combined insurance, whereby a person can simultaneously be insured as an employee and an entrepreneur through two different unemployment funds.

“Combined insurance would enhance the social security of entrepreneurs and self-employed persons in order to rectify the current shortcomings. This needs to be driven forward in a goal-oriented manner,” says Fjäder.

Akava’s aim is to facilitate the initiation of part-time entrepreneurial activities during a period of unemployment. From a jobseeker’s perspective, it would be encouraging if the entrepreneurial activities are viewed as a part-time activity and the right to the adjusted unemployment benefit would remain for the first four months. According to Fjäder, the assessment of entrepreneurial activities as part-time work should primarily be determined on the basis of earned income and whether or not the activities hinder one’s ability to take a full-time job. The assessment should be simplified, and predictability should be increased.

The health and social security reform, which is currently being prepared, and the related freedom of choice for customers will generate possibilities for micro-enterprises as well. In Akava’s opinion, the freedom of choice must be realised in a manner that safeguards the possibility for micro-enterprises and independent professionals to operate as providers of publicly funded welfare and expert service.

“The conditions for inclusion as service providers should ensure realistic opportunities for micro-enterprises and independent professionals as well,” demands Fjäder.

The organisation Entre, which lobbies on behalf of Akava’s entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals and works in co-operation with 18 of Akava’s member unions, views matters related to changes in working life and working life security as key themes in terms of supervision.  An increasing number of highly educated professionals are moving between employment relationships, self-employment and entrepreneurial activities.

“The employees’ unions still play a vital role as developers and supervisors of the game rules governing working life. As changes in the working environment are taking hold, it is important to ensure sufficient security for entrepreneurs and self-employed persons,” states Salla Luomanmäki, Executive Director of Entre - Akava’s entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals.

Read the programme: www.akava.fi/entrepreneur_programme

 

Further information

Sture Fjäder, President, Akava, tel. +358 (0)400 609 717

Salla Luomanmäki, Executive Director, Entre – Akava’s entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals, tel. +358 (0)40 700 7800


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