The Government has suggested implementing Statutory Self-Employment Pay, as people were calling out for financial assistance to those who are self-employed as they too will find it hard to continue paid work due to the spread of COVID-19.
The House of Commons Public Bill Committee has published a proposed amendment to the Coronavirus Bill which, will give freelancers and self-employed people a guaranteed income of 80 per cent of their monthly net earnings.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak announced on the 20/03/20 that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will cover 80 per cent of employees salaries, which will provide a maximum of £2,500 a month for companies to keep their staff on the payroll instead of letting them go due to COVID-19. However, at that time there was no mention of self-employed workers receiving this grant.
This is good news for the self-employed as Dave Chaplin, CEO of contracting authority ContractorCalculator said:
Freelancers and contractors have had their lives and livelihoods turned upside down by Covid-19 so the suggested amendment tabled for the bill to provide financial support is a welcome move. The UK economy relies on freelance talent to help businesses to thrive and so it is right and proper that they should be helped not penalised in these unprecedented circumstances. When the nation gets back on its feet it will be the freelancers and contractors that businesses will be turning to once again, so it is vital they are given a financial lifeline now so that they can get through the turmoil this crisis has inflicted on all our lives.
Jason Moyer-Lee, general secretary of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain explained that after Boris Johnson announced the UK’s lockdown this move is especially important.
Mr Moyer-Lee said:
Proper sick pay is needed to enable low paid workers to protect themselves, their families, and the wider public. And there needs to be income support for the self-employed so they can avoid financial destitution. The prime minister and the chancellor have repeatedly said they will do whatever it takes to protect people and the economy. This is what it takes.