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Covid-19: FAQ for independent consultants

20 Mar 2020 by Maria Kotaniemi

In this article, you’ll find the answers to frequently asked questions about coronavirus from the independent contractor’s point of view.

What happens if my project contract is at risk of cancellation?

Prepare for low cash flow situation:

  • Cut all excess expenses.
  • Remove or lower advance taxes – if you need to cut expenses fast, you should remove advance taxes asap and put the estimation for this year to 0€.
  • Renegotiate payment terms for invoices.
  • If you have loans, banks are quite flexible at the moment.
  • Use savings.
  • Apply for external funding (i.e. BusinessFinland).

Focus on your sales pipeline

  • Check the project pipeline Talented offers – are there any projects that match your skillset?
  • If there were no suitable projects for you in our pipeline, please get in touch and tell us what you’re looking for. This way we can keep our ears and eyes open for you.
  • Update and polish your CV.
  • Go through your portfolio (i.e. GitHub) and make sure it represents the best version of you, be ruthless, show only the best work.

 

I have quarantined myself inside just in case.

  • Avoid human contacts as instructed by government officials.
  • Pay attention to your work ergonomy.
  • You are not entitled to allowances.

 

Authorities put me in quarantine but I can work remotely.

  • If you can do your work remotely and will not lose income, you are not entitled to allowances.

 

Authorities put me in quarantine, and I cannot work remotely.

  • If you have been given an order of isolation, quarantine or enforced absence from work because of an infectious disease (such as coronavirus) and your work cannot be done remotely,  you can get sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease from Kela. For this, you must have YEL-insurance. 
  • For self-employed persons, the allowance is determined on the basis of their annual earnings under the Self-Employed Persons’ (YEL) Pensions Acts at the beginning of the absence.
  • Payment of the allowance requires the affected person to present to Kela a decision from the physician in charge of infectious disease response for the municipality or hospital district which indicates that the affected person has been barred from work or placed in isolation or quarantine.
  • Sickness allowance on account of infectious disease does not have a deductible.
  • If an entrepreneur falls ill with the disease, he or she has the right to sickness allowance paid by Kela.
  • The Government’s recommendation to stay home for two weeks after foreign travel is not sufficient grounds for granting a sickness allowance on account of infectious disease.

 

I am sick (corona, flu…) and not able to work

  • This is considered as normal sick leave and you have the right to sickness allowance paid by Kela.
  • If you think it might be COVID-19, contact your occupational health care by phone or chat – they will assess if you need special treatment

 

Other:

  • Entrepreneurs, also self-employed and freelancers, are temporarily entitled to an unemployment allowance. Entrepreneurs’ must explain how the coronavirus crisis has deteriorated the business.
  • The pension payments have been postponed for three months.

 


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Sources

Finnvera

KELA: Sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease

Business Finland: Up-to-date information about coronavirus & Information about Funding for SMEs and midcap companies whose business is affected by coronavirus outbreak

Federation of Finnish Enterprises: Coronavirus FAQ

Finnish Tax Administration: Up-to-date information on how the coronavirus situation affects the filing and paying of taxes and our taxpayer services.

Ilmarinen Pension Insurance: Information for the self-employed regarding the coronavirus

Veritas Pension Insurance: Coronavirus FAQ

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