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Self-employed grant boosted again amid second lockdown

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

The government has announced a cash boost for self-employed workers eligible for the next tranche of support.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announce that the government will increase the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) from 40% of trading profits to 80% for November.

The third SEISS grant covers November, December and January. Self-employed workers will be able to claim 80% of their normal profits for November, then 40% for both December and January.

This increases the total grant available from 40% to 55% of trading profits for November to January, with the maximum grant increasing to £5,160.

Initially the third SEISS grant was going to cover 20% of profits for three months, up to a maximum of £1,875. But Sunak announced on 22 October that the grant would be increased to 40% of profits, meaning a maximum grant of £3,750.

The latest announcement comes after prime minister Boris Johnson announced that England would go back into lockdown on Thursday.

SEISS grants will also be paid faster than previously planned with the claims window opening at the end of November rather than the middle of December. The increase means £4.5bn of support for the self-employed between November and January.

However, only self-employed workers eligible for the previous SEISS grants will be able to make a claim – leaving an estimated 3 million self-employed worker with no financial support.

Rishi Sunak chancellor of the exchequer said: “So far we’ve provided £13.7bn of support to self-employed people through the crisis – and I’ve always said we will continue to do everything we can to support livelihoods across the UK.

“The rapidly changing health picture has meant we have had to act in order to protect people’s lives and I know this is incredibly worrying time for the self-employed. That is why we have increased the generosity of the third grant, ensuring those who cannot trade or are facing decreased demand are able to get through the months ahead.”

The government has also announced an extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or furlough.

The scheme was scheduled to end on 31 October and replaced by the Job Support Scheme on 1 November. The latter will now be postponed until the furlough scheme ends.

The furlough scheme will remain open until December, with employees on any type of contract receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.