Bectu members can’t fall between the cracks of new self-employed support scheme

27 March 2020

After feedback from members relating to the Chancellor’s support for the self-employed, announced last night, we have warned that no members should fall between the cracks of the new support scheme.

Head of Bectu Philippa Childs said:

“Bectu has been at the forefront of the campaign to ensure there is financial support for freelancers and the self-employed during the covid-19 crisis.

“We acknowledge what has been announced is a step in the right direction, but there is still more work to be done.

“Current government advice is for people on PAYE contracts to be re-hired by their previous employer to access support through the job retention scheme and we are encouraging employers to do this. However, we know that isn’t always possible and urgently raising this issue with the Treasury.

“Many of Bectu’s members working in this way earn well below the £50,000 profit threshold that has been set out by the government and should not fall between cracks that the Treasury would not have intended.

“We also have concerns about the exclusion of those who are operating as a limited company and the upper cap of £50,000 profits a year as our members may just be a few hundred pounds over and not be eligible for support. The same restrictions have not been put in place for permanent employees on PAYE.

“These issues are at the top of our agenda when talking to government officials in the coming days.

“For those who can access the new scheme, June is a long time to wait and we have been urging the treasury to find a mechanism that will speed up the delivery of much needed funds to people. Our benefits system is not fit for purpose and it can’t be right that those who have already waited this long for government support are expected to wait five weeks just for universal credit.

“Bectu is committed to listening to your experiences and situations and working to ensure that no-one is left behind during the pandemic.”