If an artist worked as an employee for at least twelve months over the past two years and paid state pension contributions during that time, he/she is entitled to unemployment benefits if he/she becomes unemployed and does not pursue any other gainful activities. The artist is also entitled to unemployment benefits even if he/she did not work but a “substitute period of employment” was taken into account when assessing the entitlement to the benefit. A “substitute period” is, for instance, a period during which the artist was on disability pension with disability degree III or was taking personal care of a child under four years of age or personal care of a close person (who is dependent on care in dependence degrees II, III and IV), or was performing long-term volunteer service exceeding twenty hours per calendar week on average. The period during which the employment office provides unemployment benefits is called a “support period”. The support period is:
- 5 months for jobseekers under 50 years,
- 8 months for jobseekers between 50 –55 years,
- 11 months for jobseekers over 55 years.
The decisive age is the age the applicant attained by the date of filing the application for unemployment benefits. The benefits amount to 65 percent of the average monthly net earnings from the last employment in the first two months of the support period, to 50 percent in the following two months and to 45 percent in the remaining months of the support period. In the case of self-employed persons, unemployment benefits are calculated from the last assessment base for the relevant period, converted to a calendar month.
If a person terminated his/her previous employment without a serious reason voluntarily or upon agreement with the employer, the benefit is set at “only” 45 percent of the average monthly net earnings for the entire support period.
Unemployment benefits provided to jobseekers are capped at an amount equalling 0.58 times the national average wage for the first, second and third quarters of the previous calendar year.
An artist may earn extra income in a “non-colliding job” during the period when he/she is registered as a jobseeker. The gross income must not, however, exceed a half of the minimum wage. In 2017, the minimum wage stood at CZK 11,000, so the extra income option meant gross earnings of CZK 5,500 per month. There are, however, other restrictions as well. If an artist starts earning extra income, the payment of unemployment benefits is halted and will be resumed only after the artist stops earning the extra income. The artist will therefore never receive unemployment benefits and an extra income in one month.