Self-employed in the UK? Where is your support from the Government?

The Governments financial support to the current coronavirus crisis has generally been good and there have been several measures to support UK businesses and employees. These measures will provide businesses and employees some comfort in these difficult time as reported in our previous articles of 18/03/20 and 20/03/20.

There is a large group of UK workers who have been largely ignored by these measures, the self-employed with no employees and no business premises. Last Friday it was announced that these self-employed workers could now access Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay. At the same time the Chancellor announced additional support to employees so rather than relying on Statutory Sick Pay there was a commitment to pay 80% of their wages.

It does not appear fair that an employee affected by coronavirus can access greater support than a self-employed worker who earns the same amount. The employee earning £25,000 would now receive wages of £20,000. A self-employed worker who earned the same amount would now only have access to Universal Credits of £4,901 (£94.25 per week).

If the Statutory Sick Pay rate has been deemed insufficient by Government for employees who are unable to work how is it now acceptable to pay this amount to self-employed workers?

In these uncertain times I am sure the self-employed worker would be grateful of the support however Government should ensure the support is fairly distributed and these proposals have really missed the target. Hopefully further support for self-employed workers will be announced next week when the Government have taken time to consider this matter further.