Following lobbying by Community, the trade union representing self-employed and freelance workers, the Scottish Government have announced a grant funding for the newly self-employed suffering hardship.
In a letter to Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, at the beginning of April, Community called on the Scottish Government to provide additional support to the self-employed and freelance community in Scotland who are suffering hardship through the current crisis.
The £34 million ‘Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund’, managed by Local Authorities, will be allocated to the newly self-employed facing hardship through £2,000 grants.
Kate Dearden, Head of Research, Policy and External Relations at Community said:
“Supporting the recently self-employed who are currently excluded from the UK Government’s scheme is a welcome move from the Scottish Government. It is simply not fair that under the UK government scheme if you started up a business as solely self-employed in January 2020 you will not receive a penny to help towards your loss of income from the government’s scheme.
“We wrote to Nicola Sturgeon to ask what additional measures the Scottish Government can provide to the self-employed and freelance community to help plug the gaps in support for the 333,000 people who are self-employed in Scotland. The announcement of the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund will provide vital help and alleviate the hardship they are facing due to the pandemic.
“We will continue to lobby the UK government to plug the gaps in the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, and ensure all those who are newly self-employed across the UK have access to the support they need throughout this crisis.”