Freelancers still left behind by Budget response

11 March 2020

In the Budget the Chancellor announced some measures to help freelancers deal with the threat of COVID-19, removing the earnings floor for receiving Employment Support Allowance and also the need to attend a Job Centre interview. Universal Credit will be used to provide some aspects of the aid.


Mike Clancy, General Secretary of Prospect union, responding to the announcement, said:

“The Chancellor’s measures for freelancers, removing the income floor and the need to attend a job centre interview, are welcome but using Universal Credit to deliver this help is simply not up to the scale of the challenge .

“The Universal Credit system has been shown time and time again to lack the robustness to cope with any form of change in demand so to use it to deliver this help is short-sighted in the extreme.

“It seems that if you are an employee you get support, if you are a business you get support, but if you are a freelancer you get left behind.

“It isn’t good enough and the government needs to rethink this plan and put in place a proper support package for freelancers before it’s too late.”