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Coronavirus Advice  •  Services  •  Small Business

Lockdown 2.0: Self-employed to get enhanced 80% grant matching furlough scheme

By RJP LLP on 3 November 2020

On 5 November 2020, people in England will wake up to a second lockdown that sees restaurants, pubs, gyms and leisure centres plus non-essential shops ordered to remain closed until at least 2 December.

The original furlough scheme (CJRS) remains in place with no break in the support offered. Employees who are on the CJRS scheme can continue to receive 80% of their wages, to a cap of £2,500 per month.

The JSS schemes which were scheduled to be introduced are now being postponed until further notice.

What about the self-employed? This article explains what is available to support them.

Lockdown 2.0: Support for the self-employed

Rishi Sunak has confirmed that self-employed people who were eligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), will be able to claim an enhanced level of aid - up to 80% of profits - during the month-long second lockdown between 5 November and 2 December 2020. This brings eligible self-employed workers more in line with furloughed employees.

Under the original SEISS, eligible workers could claim support covering 40% of their average earnings from last year to cover a period of three months. The maximum payable over the period was £3,750.

The enhanced SEISS will provide a maximum grant of £5,160 for the 3-month period from  November to January, i.e. a maximum of £1,720 per month, representing a payment of 55% of average monthly profits.

The new enhanced self-employed support package will cost the Treasury £4.5bn between November and January. Applications for the new enhanced scheme, offering 80% of trading profits during the lockdown month only, will open from the end of November.

Eligibility criteria for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

The qualifying criteria to be eligible for the SEISS remain the same as before.

  • Over 50% of claimant's income must come from self-employment;
  • Trading profits must be either: less than £50,000 in 2018-19; or the average trading profit from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 should be less than £50,000;
  • Applicants should be able to confirm that their business has been affected by Covid-19 for the period after 14 July 2020;
  • It is not necessary to have claimed for the first grant to be eligible for the second or enhanced support grants.

Although these measures are clearly very generous, many people are still locked out of the government’s support schemes.  According to the National Audit Office, up to 2.9 million people have been excluded from the furlough and self-employed support schemes to date and will continue to be outside the scope of these packages.

If your business needs extra support over the coming weeks, please contact us via partners@rjp.co.uk

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