Government considers Statutory Self-Employment Pay

Image: Jane Barlow/PA Wire/PA Images

The government is considering introducing Statutory Self-Employment Pay, following pressure from many who fear the current lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus will prevent them from receiving a sufficient income.

The House of Commons Public Bill Committee have published a proposed amendment to the Coronavirus Bill which, if approved, will give freelancers and self-employed people a guaranteed income of 80% of their monthly net earnings, averaged over the last three years; or £2,917 per month, whichever is lower.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak came under pressure to support self-employed people who are unable to work during the coronavirus pandemic after he announced the “coronavirus job retention scheme” for employees last week. Grants from HM Revenue and Customs would cover employees’ salaries up to £2,500 per month, backdated to 1 March.

Jason Moyer-Lee, general secretary of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain, said that while the “lock down” announced by the prime minister was necessary to prevent the spread of the virus, urgent income support measures were also needed to protect the livelihoods of the self-employed and those in the gig economy.

“And the effectiveness of any lock down will be reduced by the fact that without proper sick pay many precarious and low-paid workers who are still working will not be able to stay home when they are ill or need to self-isolate,” he said.

Self-employed people are not eligible for statutory sick pay if they are unable to work because of covid-19, but they can claim the equivalent £94.25 per week in state benefit.

“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,” said Moyer-Lee.

The TUC has also joined the call for better protections for the self-employed. It said: “More than five million self-employed people aren’t covered by the government’s job retention scheme.

“And the measures announced last week, which include delaying the next self-assessment tax payments and ensuring that self-employed people on low incomes can access up to £94 a week through the benefits system, are clearly not good enough.

“It’s not right that employees are getting so much help from government while self-employed workers lack proper income support.”

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11 Responses to Government considers Statutory Self-Employment Pay

  1. Avatar
    Abdul Aziz Abdullah 24 Mar 2020 at 7:04 pm #

    I am 9 months self employed now a taxi driver at the end of the month need to be paid £550 rent £358 car insurance £216 car financing £100 bills gas and electricity, £40 broadband and phone , and few extras and since last no work even and this week stay home to keep my wife and baby safe , thanks for considering that.

  2. Avatar
    Old Cynic 24 Mar 2020 at 7:55 pm #

    Is this actually legitimate, why would an amendment from an unknown source propose £400 more for the self employed than employees, particularly when the £2,500 is most likely to include ER NIC and pension? There’d be riots.

    • Avatar
      Done with this 25 Mar 2020 at 5:05 pm #

      Sick pay

  3. Avatar
    NOOR adil 25 Mar 2020 at 2:25 pm #

    I’m a taxi driver from last week no work and this week staying at home end of manth need topay rent £700 £143 council tax £407 financing £92 gas & electricity £32 broadband £85 mobiles phones thanks for considering that

    • Avatar
      Tauseef aslam 26 Mar 2020 at 12:07 pm #

      Same here. A taxi driver from Manchester with all similar payments . I really worried

  4. Avatar
    Screw Ed Basically 25 Mar 2020 at 3:50 pm #

    I was employed till 12th of March and have become self employed as of the 13th. I am on a spouse visa and can’t claim benefits.

  5. Avatar
    Abdul Awan 25 Mar 2020 at 4:30 pm #

    Cab driver in Birmingham for last 25 years since providing service to the community and when unfortunately hard time of life is here we’ve been forgotten. The worry is even though I don’t feel well but still need to go to work which is not safe for me neither for my family and the other public but because of only me to support my family I got no other option.

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    B S 25 Mar 2020 at 6:52 pm #

    @old cynic because beleive it or not Self employed people earn more than employed office workers. although we seem to be looked down upon as scum by most of society alot of us are on double most salaried workers and have more bills to cover.

  7. Avatar
    R. Fernandes 25 Mar 2020 at 10:07 pm #

    I am on zero contract, I work as a security officer, past 3 weeks no shift, how much will I get paid, so that I can pay my house rent, car loan,insurance, food, bank personal loan. I have one son, he goes to college.

  8. Avatar
    joseph 25 Mar 2020 at 11:56 pm #

    I am a self employed pub manager who will get nothing that has been offered as we dont post the business rates

  9. Avatar
    Stewart Bradley 27 Mar 2020 at 8:51 am #

    i am a self employed scaffolder of 15 years in the construction industry helping to build the country my site is now closed i have no work, 4 children a wife to support and boris has fucked us over riots will be next i promise!

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