The government is being urged to extend its coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) for as long as self-employed individuals require it.
The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) said that the difference between the SEISS and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for employees is a ‘glaring injustice’. It warned that the self-employed could be forced to work in unsafe conditions.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently extended the CJRS until the end of October. However, the SEISS only covers March to May.
Under the SEISS, the government will pay self-employed people a taxable grant based on an average of their earnings over the past three years.
Andy Chamberlain, Director of Policy at IPSE, said: ‘The self-employed aren’t just a vital and major part of the workforce, they are also the hard-working entrepreneurs we will need to kickstart the economy after coronavirus. However, most of them cannot continue their work in the midst of this deadly pandemic and they are relying on government support to keep their businesses afloat.
‘We were delighted when the government heeded our calls and set up the SEISS, but now it must keep it open as long as the self-employed need it. It must not commit a glaring injustice by extending the employee CJRS but pulling the rug from under the self-employed.’