Maintaining an artist’s professional skills during unemployment

Maintaining an artist’s professional skills during unemployment



An unemployed artist has the right to maintain his or her professional skills without this affecting his or her right to receive unemployment benefits. The maintenance of professional skills is considered to contribute to the artist’s future job opportunities.

The job-seeker is not required to provide any clarification of activities considered to be targeted at maintaining an artist’s professional skills, and no associated labour-policy statement has been issued.

To be eligible for employment benefits, the artist does not need to dispense with his or her supplies or tools, or with a stock of works as usually maintained by a visual artist. Also, it is not required that the artist abandon his or her workroom in order to receive employment benefits.

An artist who is left unemployed does not need to be de-listed from any registers maintained by the authorities. While unemployed, the artist can remain registered for VAT liability and in the prepayment register and trade register. Being listed in these registers might be, for example, a prerequisite for eligibility for certain new job opportunities.

Also, the following activities can be seen as maintenance of an artist’s professional skills:

    • Independent training and assessment of skills by professionals in the field
    • Familiarisation with new tools and methods, such as new materials and techniques used in creating art
    • Application for grants and exhibition slots
    • Public display of works completed before unemployment began
    • Occasional performances or presentation of one’s work to the public
    • Participation in conferences related to the artist’s field or other, equivalent networking

However, preparing for production agreed upon previously or participating in activities with financial goals is not considered to fall under maintenance of professional skills. The job-seeker, in this case, will, situation-specifically, be considered either as continuing his or her previous artistic work or as having commenced new artistic work, which may be full- or part-time.

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