Uutinen 18.3.2020

Information for the self-employed regarding the coronavirus

In this article, you will find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the coronavirus and YEL insurance.

Updated on 26 March 2020.

YEL income determines the sickness allowance

Kela can pay a sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease, when an employee or a self-employed person is ordered to be absent from work in order to prevent the spread of a communicable disease. For self-employed persons, the allowance is determined based on their YEL income—that means their annual earnings under YEL at the beginning of the absence. It’s important to make sure that the YEL income is set at an adequate level, so that a possible allowance paid by Kela is enough to fully compensate for the loss-of-income due to absence, isolation or quarantine. There is no minimum rate for the sickness allowance paid on account of an infectious disease.

  • Read more about the sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease on Kela’s website.

If a self-employed person becomes ill with coronavirus, he or she will receive a sickness allowance based on their 12-month annual income. This annual income is calculated based on the YEL income for a reference period of 12 calendar months. The annual income does not take into consideration salary income from the self-employed person’s company or earnings from commercial activity. If the self-employed person has not taken out YEL insurance, or they’ve estimated their YEL income too low, they may be paid the minimum rate.

Quarantine outside the EU is not covered

Kela has announced that it will pay the same allowance to employees and self-employed persons unable to work due to a quarantine in the EU as it does in Finland. Kela requires a certificate of quarantine or isolation from a physician authorized to impose restrictions in the country in question.

However, the allowance is not applicable for anyone quarantined outside the EU.

Making changes to the YEL income

You can make changes to your YEL income, only if the value of your contribution to your company has changed. You can increase your YEL income, only if your work contribution to your business has also increased, or if you have to correct your previous estimate to better reflect your actual work contribution. For other reasons, such as viral epidemics, it is not possible to increase the YEL income.

Similarly, you can only reduce your YEL income, if you have reduced the amount of work you do for your company and hired another person to share your workload, or if your business is declining or shutting down.

Flexibility in payments 

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has confirmed an emergency provision for TyEL and YEL insurance terms that allows for flexibility in payment. The exception applies to invoices that are due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020. As an exception, these invoices may be afforded a three-month extension.

Ilmarinen will not charge penalty interest on payments due on 20 March 2020 and will not send them into debt collection for the following month.

Self-employed persons can always reschedule their payments to suit their needs, as long as half the yearly instalments are made before August.

We have postponed the due dates of your YEL payments by three months. Changes take effect automatically—you don't need to do anything. 

The new due dates of YEL invoices

• Invoices due on 20 March 2020: the new due date is 22 June 2020. We will not send you a new invoice. You can make your YEL payment on the new due date using the information provided on the current invoice.

• Invoices due on 20 April 2020: the new due date is 20 July 2020. We will not send you a new invoice. You can make your YEL payment on the new due date using the information provided on the current invoice.

• Invoices due on 20 May 2020: the new due date is 20 August 2020. We will send you an invoice in late April.

• Invoices due on 22 June 2020: the new due date is 21 September 2020. We will send you an invoice in late May.

We will charge an insurance contribution interest of 2% for the time between the original and the new due date. This interest will be added to upcoming invoices.

You may choose to pay the invoice before the new due date without notice. In this case, the insurance contribution interest will only be charged for the time between the original due date and the date of payment.

We recommend that you favour our online service, as our telephone service is currently receiving a large amount of corona-related inquiries.

You can log in to our online service from our homepage »

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