The government must match its commitment to employed workers by extending the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), says the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE).
IPSE welcomed the extension of the coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention and loan schemes from March until April 2021 announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 17 December.
However, it warned that too often throughout the pandemic the self-employed have been an afterthought. IPSE claims that self-employed workers have received less comprehensive support from the government throughout the pandemic.
Commenting on the support, Andy Chamberlain, Director of Policy at IPSE, said: 'It's right for the government to extend the furlough scheme, but it must not forget about the self-employed: it must extend SEISS too.
'Too often throughout the pandemic the self-employed have been an afterthought in government policymaking, receiving later and patchier support. At least 1.5 million self-employed have fallen through the gaps in government support – particularly directors of limited companies and the newly self-employed.
'We urge the government to extend SEISS and also finally fix the gaps in it to get support to these still desperately struggling groups. As the extension of the furlough scheme shows, we are far from the end of this, and the self-employed need just as much protection and support through the coming months as the rest of the workforce.'