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Following the recent announcement regarding extension of the furlough scheme, the government confirmed on 2nd November that it is also increasing its support to the self-employed, with qualifying individuals receiving 80% of average trading profits for November.

  • Grants will now be paid faster than previously planned – with the claims window opening at the end of November rather than the middle of December
  • The government has stated that this increase means £4.5 billion of support for the self-employed between November and January
  • More businesses will also be able to benefit from the two main government loan schemes, new applications for which have been extended to the end of January. Firms who have already applied for or received a Bounce Back Loan of less than the maximum permitted can now make a one-time ‘top up’ application should they need additional finance given the extended impact on their trade.

To reflect the recent changes to the furlough scheme, the UK-wide Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will become more generous – with self-employed individuals receiving 80% of their average trading profits for November. The changes will ensure that self-employed individuals who temporarily cannot carry out their business or have suffered reduced demand due to the outbreak are supported over winter.

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SEISS grants are calculated over three months.  The uplift for November to 80 per cent, combined with the 40 per cent level of trading profits for December and January, increases the total level of the third grant to an effective average of 55 per cent of trading profits over the three months. The maximum grant for the this period will increase to £5,160.

This has been structured to provide broadly equivalent support to the self-employed as is being provided to employees through the government contribution in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in November and then the Job Support Scheme in the two subsequent months.

In September, the Chancellor announced an extension of the SEISS to provide support throughout the Winter period, with two grants to cover the period until April. The exact terms of the support from February to April are yet to be confirmed.

The deadlines for applications for government-backed loan schemes and the Future Fund have been extended until 31 January 2021.

Further information

To be eligible for the grant extension, self-employed individuals including members of partnerships, must:

  • have been previously eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme first and second grant (although they do not have to have claimed the previous grants),
  • declare that they intend to continue to trade and either:
    • are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus, or
    • were previously trading but are temporarily unable to do so due to coronavirus

More information is available under the following link – financial support for jobs and businesses

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