Government support for self-employed workers facing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic is set to be unveiled.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak will outline measures later today (26 March) having already announced plans for 80% wage subsidies for staff kept on by employers last week.
The move comes after prime minister Boris Johnson told parliament he wanted to achieve “parity of support” between self-employed and PAYE workers amid the coronavirus crisis.
Sunak said last week the government would cover wages of up to £2,500 a month for staff being kept on by their employer, as part of “unprecedented” measures to prevent workers being let go.
Although announcing self-employed workers can access universal credit at a rate equivalent to statutory sick pay for employees, he later said drawing up further plans to help the self-employed had proved “incredibly complicated”.
As the Commons shut down early for Easter due to the crisis, Johnson told MPs “there are particular difficulties with those who are not on PAYE schemes”.
“We are bringing forward a package to ensure that everybody gets the support that they need.”
He added: “I cannot, in all candour, promise the House that we will be able to get through this crisis without any kind of hardship at all.
“We will do whatever we can to support the self-employed, just as we are putting our arms around every single employed person in this country.”