With Parliament rising unions must be involved in making a financial solution for freelancers that works

25 March 2020

Another day has passed and the government still hasn’t announced measures to help freelancers and self-employed affected by COVID-19.

It has also been announced today (Wednesday 25 March) that parliament will be rising this evening so there will be no proper parliamentary scrutiny of whatever plan the Chancellor comes up with.

Mike Clancy, General Secretary of Prospect, said:

“Freelancers and our members who are self-employed, particularly those in Bectu, a sector of Prospect, have been in touch terrified that they are facing financial ruin because the government still hasn’t brought in measures to protect their income.

“We understand that such measures are imminent but every day that these measures are delayed is a day closer to penury for many. We need an announcement from the government today, and we need an assurance that money is coming and soon so people don’t have to resort to desperate measures.

“We also need the plans to work properly and be properly scrutinised. Parliament is rising today so that avenue of scrutiny will be gone. Ministers must get round the virtual table with unions now so that this can happen in a way that works for everyone. We are all in this together and must work together to find a solution.”

  • Prospect is calling for the government to use the tax data from previous tax returns to build a picture of an average total verifiable income across different streams for each worker who claims. This must be mindful of the different methods in which self-employed workers earn income. The government would then pay grant payments covering 80% of this income (based on an average of the last year or the last 3 years, whichever is higher) with a cap of £3000 per month.
  • Over 4,500 Prospect members have contacted their MP in the last 24 hours showing the strength of feeling of our members.