Career & Legal Advice

Self-employed as a secondary occupation

If you are a self-employed person and an employee at the same time, you have to combine your two work lives. And you have to combine your work lives with your personal life. Being self-employed as a secondary occupation can be quite a balancing act, but if you find the right balance, it is definitely worth it. In this section, IDA will guide you through what you should think about.

Employee and self-employed at the same time

Combinator, part-time self-employed, self-employed as secondary occupation or self-employed and employee at the same time. You can start your life as a self-employed person in many different ways. Many people become full-time self-employed right away, while others choose to be employees and self-employed at the same time.

You can choose to become self-employed next to your salaried job, or you can become self-employed and receive supplementary unemployment benefits at the same time. However, in both cases you may need approval from your employer or your unemployment insurance fund (A-kasse), respectively.

For most people, starting a business next to their salaried job is straightforward. Nevertheless, there are certain things that you should be aware of if you choose this option. Firstly, you'll have to juggle two different work lives.

Having two jobs at the same time requires self-discipline and structured planning of your working week. And when one of these jobs is your own business, you need to be extra careful not to let it steal too much time from your salaried job or your personal life.

Secondly, you should always make sure that you remain loyal to your salaried job. It's obvious to start a business in a field that you're already working in. Note in this connection that there may be non-solicitation and non-competition clauses to comply with. If you're employed in the private sector, you usually have to ask your employer for permission before starting up your own business while you're an employee.

You may be contractually required to asks for permission, even if you will not be performing competitive work as a self-employed professional. If your employment contract does not state anything about secondary occupations, these will as a rule be acceptable - as long as the work is not in direct competition with or in hindrance of your primary occupation.

Ask for permission and get the permission in writing if possible. Then you'll avoid any doubts.

As a public employee, you basically have the right to side employment, but there are some requirements that must be met in order for you as a public employee to have the right to secondary employment:

The secondary employment must be compatible with the service, i.e. the job you have. This means that the second job must not entail a risk of conflicts of interest in relation to one's regular job. In addition, the second job must not take up too much of one's labour power and finally: The side job must not conflict with the requirement that, both at work and in your free time, you display behavior that is appropriate in relation to your position, i.e. the dignity requirement. If you are in doubt as to whether the part-time job meets the requirements, you must ask your employer.

Unemployment benefits for part-time self-employed people

If you want to become self-employed as a secondary occupation, you're entitled to supplementary unemployment benefits. However, you're required to meet certain conditions.

You can receive supplementary unemployment benefits from the A-kasse at Akademikernes A-kasse, if you're self-employed as a secondary occupation, i.e. if you run a business in your leisure time. There are other conditions that have to be met as well.

If you are in doubt, you should always contact Akademikernes A-kasse or another relevant A-kasse to find out about your rights in your specific situation.

Holiday for part-time employees

If you are employed part-time because you are also self-employed, you will earn the same number of holiday days as a full-time employee, i.e. 25 days, corresponding to five weeks of holiday per holiday year.

When you take one week's holiday, you use up five days of your entitlement, so that a normal working week, with both working days and days off, is included proportionately in the holiday week.
Example: You work 30 hours a week, from Monday-Thursday, and Friday is a day off. When you take holiday, your days off will be included proportionally in your holiday. Of your 25 holidays, 20 days must be taken on working days, and 5 days must be taken on days off.