Financial support available for self-employed beauty therapists during coronavirus
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has outlined today (March 26) the Government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme to help self-employed beauty therapists (freelance, mobile and home-based) during the coronavirus pandemic.
This news comes three days after all beauty workers were ordered to close their businesses in the Government’s latest coronavirus prevention measures, and it outlines a scheme similar to furloughed workers – covering 80% of average earnings for the self-employed over the past three years, up to £2,500 per month.
“We know that many self-employed people are deeply worried about the support available to them,” said Sunak. “You have not been forgotten. We will not leave you behind. We all stand together.”
He added: “Providing such unprecedented support for self-employed people has been difficult to do in practice, and the self-employed are a diverse population, with some people earning significant profits. So, I’ve taken steps to make this scheme deliverable and fair.”
What financial support is available to self-employed beauty therapists during coronavirus?
- The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will cover 80% of average earnings over the past three years, up to £2,500 per month. It covers the same amount of income for self-employed workers as the Government has pledged to furloughed workers.
- The scheme will be open to people in the UK for at least three months, but Sunak said it will be extended if necessary.
- Sunak says 95% of those who are majority self-employed will benefit from this scheme.
- To make sure the scheme provides targeted support for those most in need it will be open to anyone with trading profits of up to £50,000 “to make sure only the genuinely self-employed benefit,” Sunak explained. “It will be available to people who make the majority of their income from self-employment.”
- Only those in self-employment who have a tax return for 2019 will be able to apply, which Sunak said was a measure to minimise fraud.
- HMRC is working on this urgently. People should be able to access the scheme no later than the beginning of June and this is because it’s “operationally complicated”, but the Government will try to get it through sooner if it can.
- If you’re eligible, HMRC will contact you directly, ask you to fill out an online form and then pay the grant straight into your bank account.
- To make sure no one who needs it misses out on support, the Government is allowing anyone who missed the filing deadline in January to submit their tax return for up to four weeks from today.
- For those in need of help right now, self-employed workers can access the Business Interruption Loans; Self Assessment Income Tax payments that were due in July can be deferred to the end of January 2021; and the welfare system has been changed so self-employed people can now access Universal Credit in full.
- A self-employed person with a non-working partner and two children living in the social rented sector can receive welfare support of up to £1,800 per month.
However, Sunak also warned that the Government will not be able to “protect every single job or protect every single business”. When asked about people not covered by the scheme, Sunak said the top-earning 5% have average incomes of £200,000, adding: “It is a very generous scheme and treats them with same parity as the employed”.
He also said that the very newly self-employed, who are not covered by the scheme, should look at the increased welfare support available.