Off-payroll Working: Coronavirus

Treasury written question – answered on 9th June 2020.

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Photo of Paul Beresford Paul Beresford Conservative, Mole Valley

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether workers covered by IR35 rules are eligible for (a) Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, (b) the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and (c) other financial support schemes established by the Government to support people facing loss of work and income as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The Government has announced a package of support for individuals to deal with lost income and the costs of absence due to COVID-19. For those within the off-payroll working rules working in the public sector, the Government expects many public sector organisations to continue to pay staff and not to furlough them.

Owner-managers paying themselves a salary through PAYE can benefit from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). For companies with a sole director, directors can continue to undertake their statutory duties while furloughed and still be eligible for the CJRS, as long as they do not work beyond these duties. They can use the CJRS portal to claim for 80% of usual monthly wage costs up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions for that wage.

Individuals who are employed by a Personal Service Company (PSC) are entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP) on the same terms as any other employee. PSCs which are eligible and make payments under SSP as a result of COVID-19 will be entitled to a rebate where they meet the criteria of that scheme. Those not eligible for SSP (e.g. the self-employed and very low earners) will be able to receive support through the benefits system.

SMEs may also have access to support through the temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). CBILS supports SMEs with loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million, for up to six years. In addition, the Government has created the Bounce-Back Loans Scheme, which is designed to ensure that the smallest businesses can access loans of up to £50,000 in a matter of just days. More information about the full range of business support measures is available at

Individuals who have paid sufficient National Insurance Contributions, including through multiple jobs, will be entitled to new style Employment and Support Allowance. If they have not made sufficient contributions, they can apply for Universal Credit. These individuals will benefit from the Budget announcements to remove the seven day wait in new style Employment and Support Allowance and, if they are self-employed, the Minimum Income Floor in Universal Credit.

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