The Coronavirus Bill amendment for the self-employed will not become law

Posted on

According to Daniel Barnett, who is an employment lawyer:

The House of Commons Public Bill Committee has proposed an amendment to the Coronavirus Bill, entitled Statutory Self-Employment Pay.

If accepted (and I think it will be), it compels the government to introduce Regulations providing that "freelancers" (undefined) and "self-employed people" should receive guaranteed earnings of:

(a)  80% of their monthly net earnings, averaged over the last three years; or,

(b)  £2,917 per month

whichever is the lower.

The purpose of this amendment is to make the Government ‘top up’ self-employed workers’ earnings to the lower of 80% of their net monthly earnings or £2,917 a month.

See the amendment here.

I think there are those who think this may become law. I do not. As written this is far too simplistic to use; there are no anti-abuse provisions, and no flexibility with regard to reduced rather than no income. There is also no recovery mechanism in the case of over-payment. What the amendment does is bring pressure to bear on the government to deliver a scheme. It is not the scheme itself. Please do not get hopes up as yet. This is a false start.