Stories of self-employment

There are times when continuing entrepreneurial operations is no longer the best option. The reasons behind a decision to close a business down are varied, including burnout, a change in the company’s operating conditions, increased competition, changes in family circumstances or a move to another location. With a guaranteed income for periods of unemployment, you are free to decide whether it is best to close down or continue. The only way to affect the income you will receive during unemployment is to take out unemployment insurance.

Exhausting self-employment compromised health

Tuomo became self-employed in the construction industry in 1995. He joined AYT in 2008 and chose EUR 25,000 as his level of insurance. There was plenty of work and the customers were satisfied. The demanding pace of work affected Tuomo's health, however, and his knees could not take the long hours and poor working postures.

During 2011, Tuomo was forced to consider whether it was worth ruining his health because of work to continue, as by retraining he could find a job that would not put any strain on his knees. Thus, early in 2012 Tuomo decided to close down his company.

AYT paid him earnings-related allowance, including increments in the amount of approximately EUR 70 per day for two minor children until August. In August, Tuomo applied for training in the real estate business and received increased unemployment benefit from AYT on the basis of his studies in the amount of about EUR 77 per day. In addition, the fund paid him EUR 9 per day in tax-free expenses.

The training course has now ended. As the employment situation in the sector is good, Tuomo secured a job immediately after completing his course. Without the right to earnings-related allowance Tuomo would not have been able to afford training.

Spouse offered a job in another locality

Anne, a mother of three, had her own hair salon near her home and an established customer base. Anne's spouse worked long hours at a major international company.

As a result of co-determination negotiations at her husband's place of work, his job was relocated hundreds of miles from where the family lived. The family wanted to stay together, so Anne decided to close down her hair salon, and she began to receive daily allowance from AYT.

Anne was very happy with the service she received from the fund and was especially pleased with the rapid processing of her daily allowance claim. "Thanks to the fund’s daily allowance I have been able to focus my energies on looking for business premises in my new home town. It seems I will be able to continue my business operations. "Luckily I was able to leave my company in the trade register during my period of unemployment, which makes it easier and cheaper to continue later!"

Increased competition caused sleepless nights

Petri established a music store in a shopping centre and, initially, the business did well. Later, however, he became concerned after noticing that music sales were increasingly moving online, but he had confidence in his central location and the large number of customers attracted by his exquisite business premises. Soon, however, he had to face the fact that his customers, too, had gone over to purchasing music online.

Petri planned to expand his business online, but realised that it was not worth continuing as prices were so low because of the competition. "I had to work seven days a week, because the shopping centre demanded that all shops be open during opening hours. I was just about able to cover the rent, but I didn’t make enough to recruit personnel."

After seeing Petri work all hours for two years, his wife reminded him that he was member of an unemployment fund. He phoned AYT to inquire about the general terms and conditions of unemployment security for entrepreneurs and ordered a free information packet for the self-employed. After discussing the company's situation and the prerequisites for continuing several times with his wife, they decided together to close down the unprofitable business.

"I’m glad that we had the courage to quit before I burned out completely." Having set my business income at EUR 30,000 with the fund, I now receive around EUR 1,500 in gross payouts per month. It is enough to get by, but I am still actively looking for a job. At least now I can sleep well at night!”

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