Bectu welcomes news that Treasury considering support for Ltd company directors

8 January 2021

Bectu has welcomed news that the Treasury is actively considering proposals to provide financial support to workers who are directors of their own Ltd companies during the early months of 2021 but have called on the Government to go further and include all of the various groups currently excluded.

Bectu, along with parent union Prospect, first proposed a new scheme to help these workers to the Treasury back in April 2020 but this idea was ignored and these workers have been left without support for months, often causing serious financial hardship.

Now a new scheme drawn up by the Federation of Small Businesses and campaigners like ForgottenLtd and backed by Bectu is under consideration by Treasury officials. The union is also championing ideas to support other workers who have been excluded from government support, such as PAYE freelancers and the newly self-employed.

The Director’s Income Support Scheme (DISS) was one of the ideas recently promoted in a new interim report from the Inquiry into the Future of Self Employment, a project set up by Prospect to find policy solutions to help self employed and freelance workers. Other ideas included relaxing the thresholds in the SEISS, allowing newly self employed workers to access the SEISS and creating Freelancer Funds to support PAYE freelancers.

The key findings of the Interim Report are:

  • Over 50% of self employed workers had lost 60-100% of their household income in 2020
  • 64% were less likely or unsure if they wanted to continue to be self employed in the future
  • 73% had been unable to access DWP support such as Universal Credit
  • 88% did not believe that support for the self employed in the pandemic had been commensurate with their tax contribution

Philippa Childs, Head of Bectu, said: “It has been the best part of a year since we first proposed ideas to help Ltd company directors to the Treasury so it is good news that they are finally seriously considering action.

“It is a gross injustice that these workers, and many thousands of others in the creative industries and beyond, have been left with no support for months while other workers have received thousands from the furlough and SEISS schemes.

“Government must listen to unions, business groups and campaigners to implement the DISS scheme and close the other gaps in the schemes so that we emerge from lockdown with our army of self-employed and freelance workers still available and ready to power the recovery.”

The interim report of the Inquiry into the Future of Self Employment can be found here

Details of the DISS scheme can be found here here

Read more about Prospect’s Inquiry into the Future of Self-Employment

Click here