To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will amend the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme to take into account periods of maternity leave.
24 February 2021
The Government has amended the eligibility conditions of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to extend eligibility to self-employed parents who were ineligible for the SEISS because they did not submit a tax return for 2018-19, or whose trading profits in 2018-19 were less than their other income because they were pregnant or taking time out of their trade to care for their new-born or newly adopted child.
These individuals were able to claim the past three SEISS grants using either their 2017-18 self-assessment return or an average of their 2016-17 and 2017-18 returns as the basis for their eligibility. They also needed to meet the other standard eligibility criteria for support under the SEISS.
This was not a fundamental change to the SEISS, but an amendment to bring these individuals into eligibility for the scheme. It did not affect the grant calculation for those who submitted a 2018/19 return and were already eligible.
For those already eligible, the calculation for the SEISS grants uses an average of the self-employed individual’s trading profits, which evens out fluctuations in earnings which self-employed people may experience for any number of reasons.