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Self-employed: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 30148, tabled on 16 March 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to introduce benefits for self-employed people whose work is reduced because of the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

25 March 2020

This answer is a correction from the original answer.

The Chancellor has announced a Self-Employed Income Support Scheme that will help millions of people across the UK, with those eligible receiving a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. This covers 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment.

The scheme brings parity with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, whereby the Government committed to pay up to £2,500 each month in wages of employed workers who are furloughed during the outbreak.

We have temporarily relaxed the application of the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) for all self-employed claimants affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 to ensure that the self-employed can access UC at a more generous rate and those applying for Contributory ESA will be able to claim from day 1 – as opposed to day 8 - without the need for a face-to-face assessment.

Original answer

As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.