Proposed Amendment to Coronavirus Bill – Statutory Self-Employment Pay

The House of Commons Public Bill Committee has proposed an amendment to the Coronavirus Bill in the form of “Statutory Self-Employment Pay”. This amendment would require the government to introduce regulations guaranteeing “freelancers” and “self-employed people” earnings of:

(a)  80% of their monthly net earnings, averaged over the last three years; or,

(b)  £2,917 per month,

whichever is the lower.

This is a very positive development for those who are self-employed and currently without the benefit of any of the measures that the government have guaranteed to employees.

The Chancellor has been facing mounting pressure from the 5 million self-employed individuals in the UK to extend his ‘coronavirus bailout’ to them. As of 20 March, all that has been offered to our self-employed population is £94.25 per week in universal credit benefits, which is far lower than the deal handed to employees of 80% of salary, capped at £2,500 per month.

Let’s see what the coming weeks bring and whether the proposed amendment is accepted. Hopefully the fact that the government appears to be taking the concerns of the self-employed seriously should at least afford them some comfort for the moment.

For advice and consultation on how to tackle employee and employer issues throughout the coronavirus pandemic, please contact our employment team via email at [email protected] or [email protected] or by telephone on 020 7408 8888.

Please note that this update is not intended to be exhaustive or be a substitute for legal advice. The application of the law in this area will depend upon the specific circumstances and facts and you are therefore advised to seek comprehensive advice.