Government increases support for self-employed

The government is increasing its support to the self-employed over the coming months and ensuring people get paid faster than previously planned, it was announced yesterday today, 2 November.

  • Under the first instalment of the UK-wide Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Grant Extension, self-employed will receive 80% of average trading profits for November
  • Grants will also be paid faster than previously planned, with the claims window opening at the end of November rather than the middle of December

To reflect the recent changes to the furlough scheme, the UK-wide support for self-employed individuals will be made more generous.

The SEISS Grant Extension will provide support to the self-employed in the form of two grants, each available for three month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021.

The extension will last for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021. Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period.

The first grant will cover the period from 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2021. Details are as follows:

  • The Government will provide a taxable grant covering 55% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £5,160 in total.
  • The grant will be increased from the previously announced level of 40% of trading profits to 80% for November 2020. This therefore increases the total level of the grant from 40% to 55% of trading profits for 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2020. The maximum grant will increase to £5,160.
  • To speed up access to the support, the claims window for payments is being brought forward from 14 December to 30 November.

The second grant will cover a three-month period from 1 February 2021 until 30 April 2021. The Government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

Note, the grants are taxable income and also subject to National Insurance contributions.

The changes will ensure that self-employed individuals who temporarily cannot carry out their business or have suffered reduced demand due to the outbreak are supported over the winter.

This provides broadly the same level of support for the self-employed as is being provided for employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in November due to its extension. And then the Job Support scheme in December and January.

If you require any assistance, please contact your usual Beavis Morgan Client Partner or email

For further information about the Government measures to protect individuals and businesses, visit our COVID-19: Support for UK businesses hub.