Workers & Self Employed

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

*NEW 01/06/20*

SEISS has now been extended. A second and final grant will be available when the scheme opens again in August 2020. If you’re eligible and want to claim the first grant you must make your claim on or before 13 July 2020.

Self Employed Income Support Scheme

The Chancellor has announced a new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme – helping many of our country’s self-employed workers: the musicians, the sound engineers, the plumbers, the electricians, the taxi drivers, the hairdressers, the childminders, the driving instructors, and many others. 

Through this scheme, the Government will pay self-employed people a grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month – that’s unlike almost any other country and makes our scheme one of the most generous in the world. Payments made by June will be back-dated to March 1st.

The scheme the Chancellor has announced today is fair. It is targeted at those who need it the most. And crucially, it is deliverable:

  • We are launching the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, to make sure people who work for themselves are getting the financial support they need. The Government will pay self-employed people across the whole UK who have been adversely affected by coronavirus a grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month, for three months – but we will extend it for longer if necessary. 
  • We will make it simple for self-employed people to get the financial support they need. Self-employed people who are eligible will be contacted by HMRC directly, asked to fill out a simple online form, and HMRC will pay the grant directly into their bank account. We expect people to access the scheme by the beginning of June.
  • We are ensuring our support reaches those self-employed people who are most in need of it. The scheme will only be open to those with trading profits up to £50,000, leaving 95 per cent of people who are majority self-employed eligible for the scheme. HMRC will also ask people to demonstrate that the majority of their income comes from self-employment, and, to minimise fraud, only those who are already in self-employment, and who have a tax return for 2019, will be able to apply.

Check if your employer can use the scheme!

If you and your employer both agree, your employer might be able to keep you on the payroll if they’re unable to operate or have no work for you to do because of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is known as being ‘on furlough’. Your employer could pay 80% of your regular wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, up to a monthly cap of £2,500.

You’ll still be paid by your employer and pay taxes from your income. You cannot undertake work for your employer while on furlough. We expect the scheme to be up and running by the end of April.

Find out more at .GOV HERE

Full FAQ at .GOV HERE

Other Support available 

Universal Credit 

Special arrangements will be in place for people in receipt of benefits who cannot attend reassessments or jobcentre appointments because they are required to stay at home or are infected by coronavirus. 

Those affected by coronavirus will be able to apply for Universal Credit and can receive up to a month’s advance up front without physically attending a jobcentre. 

To make sure people in work can take the necessary time off to stay at home if they are suffering from coronavirus or to prevent its spread, changes have been made to Statutory Sick Pay and how Universal Credit supports self-employed claimants. All information on what employees can claim can be found on the Government website here. 

If the whole family has to stay at home and there is no income coming in, you can apply for Universal Credit.

For all queries relating to Universal Credit please call: 0800 015 9559. 

Furloughed workers

If you and your employer both agree, your employer might be able to keep you on the payroll if they’re unable to operate or have no work for you to do because of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is known as being ‘on furlough’.

You could get paid 80% of your wages, up to a monthly cap of £2,500.

If your salary is reduced as a result of these changes, you may be eligible for support through the welfare system, including Universal Credit.

Check if you could be covered by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Sick pay

You can get £94.25 per week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re too ill to work. It’s paid by your employer for up to 28 weeks.

If you are staying at home because of COVID-19 you can now claim SSP. This includes individuals who are caring for people in the same household and therefore have been advised to do a household quarantine.

To check your sick pay entitlement, you should talk to your employer, and visit the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) page for more information.

HMRC Support (Tax and Tax Credits) 

If you are self-employed or own a business and you are concerned about not being able to pay your tax bills because of COVID-19, you may be eligible for support through Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) Time to Pay service:

  • if you think you or your business is eligible for support through Time to Pay, you can call the following helpline number to get practical help and advice: 0800 0159 559.
  • these arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.
  • for more information, please check the HMRC site here

The government has also now announced  as of 23rd March that Working Tax Credits payments will be increased from 6 April 2020. As part of a number of measures to support the country during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Working Tax Credits payments will be increased by £1,045 to £3,040 per year from 6 April 2020 until 5 April 2021. The amount a claimant or household will benefit from will depend on their circumstances, including their level of household income. But the increase could mean up to an extra £20 each week.

The government has also confirmed that people who can’t work their normal hours because of coronavirus (COVID-19) will still receive their usual tax credits payments.

Those working reduced hours due to coronavirus or those being furloughed by their employer will not have their tax credits payments affected if they are still employed or self-employed. These customers do not need to contact HMRC about this change. We will treat customers as working their normal hours until the Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme close, even if they are not using either scheme.

Mortgage Payments

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a 3 month mortgage payment 'holiday' for people hit hard by coronavirus, if you rent your home please see HERE

If you are experiencing financial difficulties meeting your mortgage repayments because of COVID-19, you may be entitled to a mortgage or rental holiday for 3 months. This includes if you are a landlord whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19

  • the government has agreed with mortgage lenders that they will offer repayment holidays of 3 months to households in financial difficulty due to COVID-19.
  • this will also apply to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19
  • the offer of a payment holiday can be made available to customers who are up to date with payments and not already in arrears
  • customers who are concerned about their current financial situation should contact their lender at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss if this is a suitable option for them

VAT Deferrals 

Customers who are unable to pay VAT due between 20 March and 30 June 2020, now have the option to defer that payment until 31 March 2021. They will not need to apply for deferral as eligibility is automatic. Customers who normally pay by direct debit should cancel their direct debit with their bank if they are unable to pay. Please do this in sufficient time.

Carrying over annual leave to be relaxed

  • workers who have not taken all of their statutory annual leave entitlement due to COVID-19 will now be able to carry it over into the next 2 leave years, under measures introduced by Business Secretary Alok Sharma on Friday 27 March. 
  • currently, almost all workers are entitled to 28 days holiday including bank holidays each year. However, most of this entitlement cannot be carried between leave years, meaning workers lose their holiday if they do not take it.
  • there is also an obligation on employers to ensure their workers take their statutory entitlement in any one year – failure to do so could result in a financial penalty.
  • the regulations will allow up to 4 weeks of unused leave to be carried into the next 2 leave years, easing the requirements on business to ensure that workers take statutory amount of annual leave in any one year.
  • Find out more here.   

HMRC Time to Pay service

  • if you think you or your business is eligible for support through Time to Pay, you can call the following helpline number to get practical help and advice: 0800 0159 559
  • these arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities
  • for more information, please check the HMRC site here.