Last night the House of Commons Public Bill Committee proposed the following amendment to the Coronavirus Bill:
Statutory Self-Employment Pay
(1) The Secretary of State must, by regulations, introduce a scheme of Statutory Self-Employment Pay.
(2) The scheme must make provision for payments to be made out of public funds to individuals who are:
(a) self-employed, or
(3) The payments to be made in subsection (2) are to be set so that the net monthly earnings of an individual specified in subsection (2) do not fall below—
(i) 80 per cent of their monthly net earnings, averaged over the last three years, or
whichever is lower.
(4) No payment to be made under subsection (2) shall exceed £2,917 per month.
(5) A statutory instrument containing regulations under this section is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
The Members of the Committee issued the following explanatory note:
“The purpose of this amendment is to make the Government ‘top up’ self-employed workers’ earnings to the lower of 80% of their net monthly earnings averaged over three years, or £2,917 a month.”
A Public Bill Committee is a committee set up by the House of Commons to examine the details of a particular Bill.
Whilst it is unlikely that this amendment will go through in its current form, it does reflect the mood of MPs that more needs to be done for freelancers, contractors and sole traders.
Our expectation is that there will be announcement by the government on this in the next couple of days.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like any further information, please either email firstname.lastname@example.org or book an appointment at https://calendly.com/jonathan-cooper/covid-19-support.