Covid-19: Self-Employed Women

Women and Equalities – in the House of Commons at 11:34 am on 17th June 2020.

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Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet 11:34 am, 17th June 2020

What steps the Government are taking to support self-employed women during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

We have introduced an unprecedented package of support for businesses to get through this incredibly challenging period. More than £10 billion of grants has been paid and over 830,000 businesses of all sizes have been able to access more than £34 billion of finance through our loan scheme. As of 7 June, the self-employed income support scheme has paid out on 2.6 million applications worth £7.5 billion. Of these, 701,000 claims were from women, totalling £1.609 billion.

Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet

Can the Minister provide any extra help for new mothers whose periods of maternity leave mean either that they are not entitled to help under the self-employment support scheme or that their entitlement is significantly reduced?

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

The Government clearly understand the challenges for the self-employed, in particular, arising from the arrival of a new baby or adoption. We are working on additional guidance for individuals who took a break from work to care for a newborn or a newly adopted child, and for whom no income tax self-assessment tax return was submitted.