- Current support for five million self-employed is inadequate, says union body
23 March 2020 – The TUC has today (Monday) called on the government to provide urgent aid to Britain’s five million self-employed workers.
A new report published today says the current measures in place for self-employed workers are “inadequate” with many facing severe hardship over the coming months.
The report calls on ministers to extend the wage subsidy scheme announced on Friday to the self-employed.
The TUC says this could be done through providing the self-employed with a guarantee of at least 80% of their incomes based on their last three years of self-assessment tax returns.
This could be paid directly to the self-employed as a tax rebate.
The report highlights the example of Norway where the government is providing grants covering 80% of self-employed workers’ earnings. And Belgium where an income replacement scheme has been set up for the self-employed.
Commenting on the report TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“The government took a big and important step last week with wage subsidies for employed workers.
“But millions of self-employed workers – from the creative industries to construction – are still facing a collapse in their earnings. Many won’t be able to meet their basic living costs without further support. Ministers must urgently beef up support for the self-employed.
“Large-scale wage subsidies are the best way to boost household finances, keep businesses running and help our economy bounce back after this crisis. All workers – both employed and self-employed – should have their wages protected.”
Notes to editors:
– The full TUC report can be found here: https://www.tuc.org.uk/research-analysis/reports/fixing-safety-net-what-next-supporting-working-peoples-incomes.
Trade Union Congress UK