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Include self-employed in statutory sick pay during Coronavirus

Submitted by Jane Lawson on Wednesday 4th March 2020

Published on Friday 6th March 2020

Current status: Closed

Closed: Sunday 6th September 2020

Signatures: 699,589

Relevant Departments

Tagged with

Covid-19 ~ Tax ~ UK

Petition Action

Include self-employed in statutory sick pay during Coronavirus

Petition Details

4.8 million people are registered self-employed in the UK. Figures are of 2017 according to the Office of National Statisticics. It would be easy enough to work out what each person is entitled to based on their tax returns.
Include self-employed in statutory sick pay.

Additional Information

The self-employed make up 15% of UK's workforce. Majority are not entitled to any sick pay. I want the Government to include us in the recent changes to statutory sick pay because of the Corona19 virus. Excluding us means the Government are running the risk of said people continuing going to work as just like everyone else we have bills to pay and thus spreading the virus.

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Government Response

The Government responded to this petition on Thursday 26th March 2020

It would not be appropriate to require the self-employed to pay themselves statutory sick pay, as they are their own employer. The welfare system provides a safety net to support the self-employed.

Statutory Sick Pay is paid to an employee by an employer. Given self-employed people are their own employer, there is no logic for the government to require the self-employed to pay themselves statutory sick pay.

The Chancellor has outlined an unprecedented package of measures to protect millions of people’s jobs and incomes as part of the national effort in response to coronavirus. This includes strengthening the safety-net for the self-employed who will benefit from a relaxation of the earnings rules for self-employed claimants under universal credit and deferring income tax self-assessment payments due in July 2020.

Depending on their individual circumstances individuals can claim Universal Credit and/or new style Employment and Support Allowance.

They will benefit from changes we are making, such as the £20 increase in the UC standard allowance and the increases to the Local Housing Allowance.

And we will temporarily relax the Minimum Income Floor for all self-employed UC claimants affected by the economic impact of Covid-19 from 6 April, for the duration of the outbreak.

Self-employed people unable to work because they are directly affected by Covid-19 or self-isolating will also be eligible for Contributory Employment and Support Allowance. As announced at Budget, this is now payable from the first day of sickness, rather than the eighth.

All these measures ensure that the self-employed are supported by the benefit system so that they can follow Public Health England guidance on social distancing and self-isolation.

Department for Work and Pensions.

Parliamentary Debate

This petition has reached the threshold for a Parliamentary debate, but the debate has not been held. The Petitions Committee gave the following explanation.

Because it has not been possible to debate this petition to date and the request made by this petition has been considered by the Committee and in the House of Commons in other ways, the Committee has agreed not schedule this petition for debate.

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