Government Offer More Financial Help for the Self-employed
The self-employed will be able to claim state aid of up to 80% of profits during the month-long lockdown, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced.
- government increases support under the third instalment of the UK-wide Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, with people receiving 80% of average trading profits for November
- grants will also be paid faster than previously planned – with the claims window opening at the end of November rather than the middle of December
- the increase means £4.5 billion of support for the self-employed between November and January
- more businesses will also be able to benefit from government loan schemes which have been extended to the end of January, while firms can ‘top up’ existing Bounce Back Loans should they need additional finance
To reflect the recent changes to the furlough scheme, the UK-wide Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be made more generous – with self-employed individuals receiving 80% of their average trading profits for November.
And to ensure those who need support get it as soon as possible, payments will also be made more quickly with the claims window being brought forward from 14 December to 30 November.
The changes will ensure that self-employed individuals who temporarily cannot carry out their business or have suffered reduced demand due to the outbreak are supported over winter.
In addition, more businesses will be able to access additional support as deadlines for applications for government-backed loan schemes and the Future Fund have been further extended until 31 January 2021.
As SEISS grants are calculated over three months, the uplift for November to 80 per cent, along with the 40 per cent level of trading profits for December and January, increases the total level of the third grant to 55 per cent of trading profits. The maximum grant will increase to £5,160.
This provides broadly equivalent support to the self-employed as we are providing to employees through the government contribution in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in November and then the Job Support Scheme in the two subsequent months.
So far, the government has provided £13.7 billion of support to self-employed people through the crisis, with the world-leading scheme among the most generous in the world.
In September, the Chancellor announced an extension of the SEISS to provide support throughout the Winter period, with two grants to cover the period until April.
The SEISS continues to be just one element of a comprehensive package of support for the self-employed. In addition to this they can also access other elements of the package which includes Bounce Back Loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, and other business support grants.
These government backed loan schemes have already supported more than 1 million businesses to access over £60 billion of finance.
To be eligible for the Grant Extension self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, must:
- have been previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme first and second grant (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants)
- declare that they intend to continue to trade and either:
- are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus
- were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus
- This follows the CJRS being extended until December. This provides broadly equivalent support to the self-employed as is being provided to employees through the government contribution in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in November and then the Job Support Scheme in the two subsequent months.