The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is now open to offer the self-employed a second grant to help support themselves financially throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
Back on 26/03/20, Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the first SEISS package for the self-employed, where contractors and freelancers were able to claim 80 per cent of their earnings, a maximum of £2,500 a month from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). The difference between the SEISS and the furlough scheme is that it only pays out three months of a self-employed workers wages.
Still, the second grant will only cover 70 per cent of a self-employed salary for three months, meaning it can equate up to a £6,570 pay out. Applications to this scheme can be made from the 17/08/20 and will close on the 19/10/20. Those who are deemed eligible for the scheme will see money paid in to their account, six working days after completing their claim.
Both Mr Sunak and Prime Minister, Boris Johnson in May said the scheme was “under review”.
On 29/05/20 113 cross-party MPs signed a letter sent by Labour’s Siobhain McDonagh to Mr Sunak to extend the SEISS.
The letter stated:
This scheme is a lifeline for millions of locked-down workers right across the country.
There are already significant holes in the support, but removing what is already in place would pull the safety net from under the feet of millions of self-employed workers.
How can it be right for the furloughed scheme to continue but this scheme to not?
In response to the second SEISS, Justin Small, founder of The Future Strategy Club a consulting agency, said:
The nationwide lockdown, and the state of the economy, has had an extremely negative impact on self-employed contractors who have been out of work for a long period of time. Without any support from the Government comparative to the furlough scheme offered to employees, contract workers have been well and truly left in the dark.
Although the second support grant for self-employed workers is now available, the damage has already been done to the freelancing industry. There are millions of high-skilled, hardworking self-employed individuals who were left behind by the government, forcing them to take drastic measures due to the effects of lockdown. These individuals now require much more support in order to springboard themselves back into work and make up for this incredibly tough period.