The union Prospect has come up with a plan to provide financial help for those self-employed who are not eligible for any of the current state support.
In total, three million UK sole traders have been unable to apply for any of the various government grants and loans up to now. The reasons for this include them being classified as company directors who are paid via dividends and them not having been in business long enough to have submitted the required three years of tax returns.
Now, with harsh restrictions being imposed again, Prospect has come up with what it is calling the Self Employment Stabilisation Scheme (SESS). This would tie in with the existing SEISS grant, with the aim of filling gaps left by it, targeting sectors high in sole trader businesses – for example, creative industries.
This would allow people who are submitting a first tax return this year to apply for the next SEISS grant and include those earning less than 50% of their income from their self-employment among the eligible parties. It would also see the Directors Income Support Scheme for company directors, proposed by the Federation of Small Businesses, made a reality. There is no word as yet about whether an accountant for sole traders from Goole or anywhere else would be able to complete the applications.
Prospect is warning that, if a plan such as this one is not implemented, it could lead to large numbers of people opting to give up on self-employment.