At least one quarter of self-employed not eligible for government support scheme

17 April 2020

The Office for National Statistics has reported 14.3% of self-employed people are sole directors of their own companies and 12.3% are freelancers.

Neither of these groups are covered by the government’s coronavirus Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), which is aimed only at sole traders.

This means that well over a million of the five million self-employed workers in the UK will miss out on support.

Head of Bectu Philippa Childs said: “These numbers show that over a quarter of the self-employed population identify themselves as sole directors or freelancers and will not be covered by the government scheme designed to support self-employed workers during the pandemic.

“Bectu has identified a number of gaps in the income support schemes that are intended to cover people who have had their work disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak, including thousands of workers in the creative industries, and these statistics demonstrate the urgent need for the Treasury to act to fill these gaps.

“We have written to the Treasury offering solutions that could work for people working in the creative industries. These figures show that if our solutions were adopted they would benefit many more in the wider economy.

“In light of the extended lockdown, the Treasury must continue to engage with Bectu and other organisations to ensure that these people are granted the financial support they are desperately in need of.”

Read more about the solutions Bectu is proposing to plug the gaps in freelance support.