The government will pay 80% of self-employed people’s wages amid the coronavirus crisis.
In a press conference yesterday (26 March), chancellor Rishi Sunak laid out new schemes to help people who are self-employed, such as travel agent homeworkers.
These include a Self Employed Income Support Scheme for self-employed people to access a taxable grant of 80% of their profits up to £2,500 a month.
It will be calculated on the person’s average monthly profit over the past three years and, alongside the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, is open for an initial three months.
Only people who earn the majority of their income through self-employment and who’s trading profits are up to £50,000 a year will be eligible.
They must have submitted a tax return for 2019, the deadline for which has been extended to four weeks from 26 March.
HMRC will contact agents directly if they could benefit from the scheme to ask them to apply for the grant.
“The scheme is fair,” said Sunak. “It’s targeted at those who need it the most and, crucially, it is deliverable and it provides an unprecedented level of support for self-employed people.”
He also said self-employed people will now be able to access welfare support of up to £1,800 a month in Universal Credit.
Sunak added: “We will not be able to protect every single job or save every single business, but I am confident that the measures we have put in place will support millions of families, businesses and self-employed people to get through this together and emerge on the other side both stronger and more united.”