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Complementary self-employed and in economic unemployment: what are your possibilities?

Written by Sibylle Greindl
Updated on
Read in 2 minutes

More than one complementary self-employed person today is faced with this question: “If my employer puts me on economic unemployment under Covid-19, am I allowed to carry out my activity while receiving these economic unemployment benefits?”

Hardly, unless you strictly respect a series of conditions that Jean-Pierre Riquet, from the Académie Fiscale, sets out clearly in a document published by the Académie Fiscale, available in full here. You will also find there precise documentation on the replacement income (droit-passerelle, overbruggingsrecht).

We zoom here on one aspect: complementary self-employment when one is economically unemployed.

Are you allowed to work as a complementary self-employed person while receiving economic unemployment benefits?

In principle, the answer is no, unless you declare your activity to the unemployment office beforehand and you meet these six very specific conditions.

  • You did not become self-employed as you were in economic unemployment. You had already been self-employed for three months minimum when applying for economic unemployment benefits.


  • You must declare your activity as a complementary self-employed when you apply for the unemployment benefit.

    How do you do this? In the last appendix of form C1, answer “yes” when asked whether you have a complementary activity. You should also complete form C1A.

    ⚠️If you work in a secondary occupation without declaring it, you will have to repay the allowances you have received and will also be excluded for several weeks. You will also be liable for prosecution. In short, keep an eye out when you fill in forms C1 and C1A so that everything is properly declared!


  • You may not carry out this activity on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Activities that take place after 6 p.m., such as night watchman, are prohibited. This restriction does not apply to weekend days: in this case, regardless of the hours you work, you lose an allowance for each weekend day you worked. In that case, you should blacken the box for the day in question on your control card before you start work.


  • Certain occupations are excluded: restaurants, drinking establishments, canvassing, peddling, entertainment, insurance agents (unless the work in question is minimal).


  • Construction work (from masonry to tiling) is not allowed either.


  • You can combine the income from your supplementary activity with the benefit, but only to a certain extent: for any daily income in excess of €14.54, your unemployment benefit will be reduced by the same amount.


This clarification is provided by Jean-Pierre Riquet of the Académie Fiscale.

On the site of the latter, you will find a precise and qualitative follow-up of the various tax issues related to Covid-19, among others regarding the replacement income also known as droit-passerelle or overbruggingsrecht.


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Sibylle Greindl
Sibylle Greindl

Sibylle is fond of words and stories. She used to be one of the testers of Accountable, back in the old days. She found the app pretty convincing and decided to join its team.
She now makes sure as many self-employed professionals as possible can access the experience she had, when starting on Accountable!

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