Posted: Thu 19th Mar 2020
Enterprise Nation is backing The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed's (IPSE) call for a Temporary Income Protection Fund to support the UK's freelancers and self-employed.
Championing the move, Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones said:
"It is becoming crystal clear that the self-employed will need enhanced financial protection over the coming months and not just while self-isolating. At the moment, this issue hasn't been tackled by the government. While this crisis continues, we must see some fiscal intervention emerging at the very least in the next few days."
IPSE wrote to the Prime Minister today to call for more support for the UK's five million self-employed and freelance workers.
"In recent days, our members and the wider self-employed community across the country have contacted us in huge numbers about their work and projects being delayed or cancelled altogether," the letter says.
Businesses and self-employed people impacted by coronavirus can access support, which includes advice and online events, through Enterprise Nation's dedicated support hub.
IPSE says that the income of freelancers is at immediate risk, threatening their ability to keep their businesses alive and cover basic living costs like rent, bills and food.
While these workers can access Universal Credit and Employment Support Allowance under the government's coronavirus measures, both are "less generous than Statutory Sick Pay, which the self-employed cannot access, and difficult to navigate," it says.
IPSE wants income support that's time-limited and carefully targeted to ensure support goes to those self-employed people who need it most.
Its members whose work includes entering homes and premises, such as cleaners, carers and tradespeople, have also expressed concern over balancing losing their income and risking the health of themselves and others.
Other countries have put such protections in place already. For example, the letter notes that the Norwegian government has committed to pay the self-employed 80% of their average income over the past three years.