Boris Johnson has introduced a three-tier system to handle local lockdowns as the prospect of a national lockdown looms. The introduction of these new rules coincides with additional support from Rishi Sunak to keep employees afloat, but analysis of new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that self-employed workers are still struggling and may keep doing it.
According to the latest figures from the ONS, the number of self-employed workers in the UK fell by 240,000 in the third quarter of 2020.
On this, Simon McVicker, director of public affairs, policy and communications at backinbusiness.org.uk, expressed little surprise, but warned of dire consequences if action is not taken now: “ These figures are not surprising. The independents have been unfairly left behind when it comes to financial support.
“It’s no wonder they are leaving the industry to find permanent roles.
“The Prime Minister’s announcement of the new three-tier system will see self-employed workers placed in local lockdown only receive 20 percent of their earnings, while employees will receive two-thirds.
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“Data from the ONS at the end of August shows that one in six companies is trading insolvent – it’s appalling.
“On that basis, I estimate that about 250,000 small businesses could close in the next two to three months. This could represent at least one to two million additional unemployed.
“There is a real problem that is piling up here.
“The Treasury has thrown money at the problem in hopes of defying these dire predictions, but it appears they don’t understand how the economy works and where freelancers and freelancers fit into the community. companies at large.
At the end of September, it was confirmed that the Self-Employment Income Support (SEISS) program will be extended until 2021, but with reduced levels of support.
The extension will provide two additional grants and run for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021.
These grants will be paid in lump sum payments, but will be much lower than the grants awarded previously.
The new taxable grants will cover 20 percent of average monthly business profits, paid out in a single installment that will be capped at £ 1,875 in total.
For comparison, it is currently possible to receive a grant worth 70% of average monthly business profits, capped at £ 6,570 in total.
Given the drastic reduction, eligible applicants will likely want to take advantage of the more generous grants available, but the deadline for them is fast approaching.
As long as applicants are eligible, they must apply for the 70% grant by October 19.
To be eligible for the extension of the grant, freelancers, including members of partnerships, must:
- be currently eligible for SEISS (although they do not need to have claimed previous grants)
- state that they are actively negotiating and intend to continue negotiating
- report being affected by a reduced demand due to the coronavirus during the reference period (the qualifying period for the extension of the grant is between November 1 and the date of the claim)
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