For the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, a large number of working people in the UK have seen their income decrease and the future of their jobs uncertain. This has been a particularly unsettling time for those who are self-employed who do not have the protection of an employer to lean on in this time of need.
As of 13 May 2020, the government has launched a significant support package to help self-employed workers known as the ‘Self Employed Income Support Scheme’ (SEISS).
The SEISS scheme allows for self-employed workers to apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profits to help them cope with the financial impact of coronavirus. This is averaged over the last 3 tax years and subject to a maximum of £7,500 per month.
The rules for working out average pay are complicated. But if you are potentially eligible for the grant HMRC will make contact directly and invite those who qualify to submit a claim. HMRC will also work out your average monthly profits for the purposes of the scheme.
The SEISS scheme is now a part of package of measures target to assist the self-employed. Those measures include:
- Suspending the minimum income threshold to gain access to Universal Credit
- Deferring Self-Assessment income tax payments
- Deferring VAT payments
- Emergency business loans in the form of:
- the Business Interruption Loan Scheme
- the Bounce Back Loan
HMRC estimates that 3.8 million self-employed workers could qualify under the SEISS scheme.There are useful on-line guidance notes produced by HMRC which you can read here.
There is also an online tool for self-employed individuals to check whether they are eligible.
Jas Dubb comments “The SEISS scheme comes as part of a raft of measures taken by government to try and stabilise the economic fallout from the COVID 19 pandemic. Sensibly the government has had to look at the full spectrum of the UK workforce to provide targeted support to prop up the economy.”.
For any further guidance in relation to this update, or any other employment law related matter, please contact Jas Dubb on 0121 710 5929 or any member of the Employment Team at The Wilkes Partnership Solicitors at [email protected].