Published on: 26 March 2020 in Industry

New Support Measures For The Self-Employed Announced By The Chancellor

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The Chancellor has tonight unveiled a new support package for self-employed workers affected by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

As you know, support for directors, the majority of whom are self-employed, is exactly what Directors UK has been calling for since this crisis began. While we are pleased that the Government is now taking action in this area, there is still a lot of uncertainty about particular aspects of the measures, and there are significant gaps in what is being proposed. We are working to seek clarification and provide our members with answers as soon as possible.

The Chancellor’s announcement includes the following measures:

  • A new self-employment support scheme in the form of a taxable grant allowing workers to claim up to 80% of their average profits (calculated over the last three years) up to £2,500 a month.

  • The scheme will be available for at least three months with an option to renew

  • The scheme will also apply to furloughed workers

  • The tax return deadline will also be delayed by a month for the self-employed

  • The scheme is open to those with profits of less than £50,000 per annum

You can read about the proposed measures here.

We would like the thank you, our members, whose support and participation has helped to see these measures introduced by the government. We will be looking at the full measures in more detail and will have updates for members in the very near future.

We are seeking confirmation as to whether this scheme will be equally applicable to those operating via a Ltd or Personal Service Company and those operating as sole traders/self-employed freelancers. We will be scrutinising the proposed start date of June and how the government is expecting self-employed workers to support themselves until that time. And we will also be trying to find out whether there is any possibility of securing a fairer transition or arrangement for those who go over the £50,000 profit limit.

If you have any immediate concerns or questions about these proposals, then please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] and we will do our best to answer them in the coming days.

Have Your Say

Martha Constable

While I welcome the help offered to some thousands of us fall through the gaps. Those on short term PAYE contracts, those earning over £50K (bear in mind that their income is mainly used as it comes in for outgoings, be it university fees and supporting families, rent, travel, mortgages) and as myself Limited Companies. No cap has been applied to staff salaried workers neither have they been cut into different categories. Many of us, myself included, have had their current contract terminated with 1 week notice, their next job cancelled and no work on the horizon. Unlike staff workers we have no '25 holiday pay' allowance that is owed either. We have no security whatsoever and never have. With limited companies its something the industry itself has been encouraging us to do and accountants too. I for one only did it on advice from my accountant and as most production companies find it preferable. We must have parity for all. To assume that those who earn as self employed are in less financial need that those with staff jobs (the implication from the gov't having separate criteria for self employed as for staff) is both wrong and dangerous. People are goign to go under and fast. The figures bandied around re the average self employed earning £200K are ridiculous - particurlary as regards TV (behind the scenes at least). They can only have arrived at that figure by lumping in the likes of Jeremy Clarkson and Jimmy Carr with the rest of us. I've been working in TV for 20 years, am a very established Series Producer and, wtih breaks in between jobs, probably average around £65K a year. The money I manage to save on one job tides me over between the others. The only people I know who'd be close to that £200K are probably staff anyway and still being paid in full - commissioning editors and some heads of dept at the larger companies. Its only a very very few. My income has disappeared entirely overnight with no prospect of new work. As a Ltd company - which many many people i know in TV are - I pay myself a 'salary' of £720 a month. Even if i am allowed to Furlough myself which is as yet not clear i'd only be entitled to around £560. Nowhere close to my outgoings. While I can get by for a few weeks with no work on the horizon and lockdown rumoured to continue to June (and post lock down its goign to take a while for productions to get up and running again, some simply wont then be made. My next one was summer weather reliant....). They must give parity to all workers and in keeping with what they're rolling out to normal staff workers. Whether you earn as PAYE freelance, sole trader or via Dividends as a director of a Ltd Company. Our need is the same

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