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31 Mar 2020

Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)


An unprecedented level of government support for the self-employed has been announced, but there is a catch…

  • Under the SEISS, self-employed people who make profits of up to £50,000 a year will be entitled to a taxable grant worth up to 80% of their monthly wages, capped at £2,500 a month.

  • The scheme is only open to people who submitted a 2018-19 self-assessment tax return (or who do so before 23 April 2020) and traded in the 2019-20 tax year.

  • Applicants must either be continuing to trade or would be but for the pandemic. They must have lost profits as a result of the virus, but intend to continue to trade in the 2020-21 tax year.

  • For those with multiple income streams, more than half of their income must come from self-employment or they will not be eligible.

  • Monthly wages will be calculated using an average over the past three years.

  • HMRC will contact those who are eligible and invite them to apply online.

  • The SEISS will cover losses over the next three months but it is unlikely to be up and running until June 2020.

  • The SEISS is not open to those who operate through personal service companies. Instead, support for them is available through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

The catch

  • The Chancellor has suggested that he will raise national insurance contributions for the self-employed once the pandemic is over. The rationale behind this is that it will be harder to justify their special tax treatment after the SEISS pays out. 

We have a dedicated Covid-19 team of employment lawyers keeping up to date on the latest developments and who are available to answer any questions you may have. You can find more information here.



Paul Reeves

Paul Reeves
Head of employment

T:  +44 20 7809 2916 M:  +44 7919 694 135 Email Paul | Vcard Office:  London

Michèle Aubertin

Michèle Aubertin

T:  +44 20 7809 2264 M:  +44 777 184 4316 Email Michèle | Vcard Office:  London