covid-19 snow

Government must support excluded freelancers this winter

WGGB has responded to the announcement made by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the House of Commons today (22 October 2020) of an enhanced support package for businesses, employees and the self-employed in the coming winter months.

Sunak has revisited the winter support scheme he outlined at the end of last month in the wake of tiered lockdowns in many regions.

The new support package includes:

  • Grants for businesses affected by Tier 2 restrictions
  • A more generous Job Support Scheme (JSS)
  • Extra help for the self-employed – increasing the amount of profits covered by the two forthcoming Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grants from 20% to 40%, meaning the maximum grant will increase from £1,875 to £3,750.

WGGB General Secretary Ellie Peers said:

“We welcome the doubling of the SEISS, which will bring relief to many of our members. However, we are disappointed that the Chancellor has not listened to WGGB and other organisations speaking out on behalf of the estimated three million self-employed in the UK who have consistently fallen through the gaps of Government support since the beginning of the pandemic, through no fault of their own.

“We are hearing heart-breaking tales on a daily basis of the impact this is having on people’s livelihoods, health and families and this suffering will only increase while the Chancellor steadfastly refuses to listen.”

How you can get involved

Support the #NoCreativeLeftBehind campaign we have signed up to with our sister entertainment unions. Take a photo of yourself with your job title, post it on social media with the caption #NoCreativeLeftBehind, tag your local MP and ask them to take part (find out who your local MP is here).

Changes to the SEISS – information for WGGB members

The Government will provide two taxable SEISS grants to those experiencing reduced demand due to Covid-19 but are continuing to trade, or temporarily cannot trade.

  • It is available to anyone who was previously eligible for the SEISS grants one and two and who meets the eligibility criteria.
  • Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments, each covering three months – November 2020 to January 2021, and February to April 2021.
  • The grant is taxable and calculated based on 40% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single installment.
  • The level of the second grant will be reviewed by the Government and set in due course.
  • More information

You can find out details of support for writers during Covid-19, including on finances and mental health, on a special page we have put together here.