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Labour Market: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL10024, tabled on 4 November 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Centre for Progressive Policy From precarious to prosperous, published on 27 October; and what plans they have to introduce a minimum wage for the self-employed.

Answered on

18 November 2020

This Government is determined to tackle unfair working practices. As announced in the Queens’ Speech, we will bring forward an Employment Bill in due course, to make workplaces fairer, and provide new protections for those in low-paid work and the gig economy.

An individual’s employment rights – such as the right to the National Minimum Wage - are determined by their employment status (employee, worker or self-employed). Employment law doesn’t cover self-employed people in most cases because they are their own boss and are responsible for the success of their own business.

We recently announced an extension of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to continue to support self-employed individuals who are experiencing reduced demand or cannot trade due to the effect of coronavirus.

We are increasing the overall level of the grant to 80% of trading profits covering November to January for all parts of the UK. This provides equivalent support to the self-employed as we are providing to employees through the government contribution in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

This is £7.3 billion of support to the self-employed through November to January alone, with a further grant to follow covering February to April. This comes on top of £13.7 billion of support for self-employed people so far, one of the most comprehensive and generous support packages for the self-employed anywhere in the world.