Self-employed: Coronavirus

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 7th April 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what further financial measures they plan to introduce to assist the self-employed and freelancers who are financially disadvantaged due to COVID-19.

Photo of Lord Callanan Lord Callanan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The self-employed play an important role in the UK economy and the Government is supporting them through an unprecedented package of measures during this period of disruption.

These include a temporary relaxation of the earnings rules (known as the Minimum Income Floor) for self-employed claimants who are sick or self-isolating according to Government guidance. This has already come into effect: on 20 February the Government extended this to all self-employed claimants not just those directly impacted by the virus, ensuring those affected by the economic impact of the outbreak are supported.

Self-employed people unable to work because they are directly affected by Covid-19 or self-isolating will also be eligible for Contributory Employment and Support Allowance. As announced at Budget, this is now payable from the first day of sickness, rather than the eighth.

Furthermore, on 26 March, the Chancellor announced world-leading scheme to support the UK’s self-employed affected by the coronavirus outbreak. he Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

All details of Government support for business during the coronavirus outbreak can be found on the Government’s Business Support website.

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