Best practice in local government for self-employed and freelancers

Given the ongoing spread of the Coronavirus, we are providing generic guidance for members. Read more below about the best practice Councils are leading on to further support self-employed and freelancers in their borough during Covid-19.

If you have any additional best practice examples you would like to be included, please email self-employed@community-tu.org

Community wrote to Council leaders across England and Wales to collate the best practice Councils are leading on to further support self-employed and freelancers in their borough during Covid-19.

Councils across the country recognise the vital importance of small and sole trader businesses within their economy and understand the vital role they will play in our economic recovery.

We’ve collated some examples of their best practice and encourage our members to sign post this practice with their Councils, and to explore the support available if they are based in any of the areas highlighted.

Wirral Council

  • Set up a Local Welfare Assistance Scheme to provide a safety net to the self-employed workers struggling to make ends meet as a result of the crisis. The Council has set aside £100,000 to help those worst affected whilst they await access to benefits such as Universal Credit.

Warrington Council

  • Improved their online business relief tool to ensure businesses who recently commenced trading receive support, grants and guidance. So far, they have supported 24 local start-ups and almost 300 self-employed people.

Cambridgeshire Peterborough Combined Authority:

  • Growth Hub triage service to support business growth through signposting and referring to existing business support provision and identify the gaps.
  • Weekly communications to all local businesses, including 1-2-1s and webinars
  • Augmentation of their Small Capital Grant Scheme ringfencing funds specifically for sole traders
  • Signposting to local lenders for Bounce Back Loans
  • Development of a local talent and retraining portal to help businesses in need of employees and connecting them with local people in need of employment

Staffordshire County Council:

  • Staffordshire County Council Emergency Grants schemes – a business fund to support small, micro and one person businesses that are not eligible for the grants and rate relief packages offered by the government. The grant is awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Chelmsford City Council:

  • Developed an agreement with COLBEA to provide the self-employed start-up advice, training courses and workshops, office space and networking.
  • Work with the BEST Growth Hub supporting the self-employed identify relevant programmes, initiatives and funding schemes to help their business grow.
  • Specific Cabinet appointment that covers small business.
  • Created an online business recovery survey to develop a greater understanding of how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting local businesses.

Portsmouth City Council:

  • Established the Crowdfund Portsmouth Pay It Forward Scheme as a direct response to supporting the self-employed who are missing out on the current government financial support packages. The scheme helps local businesses, social enterprises and individuals to raise money from the crowd and unlock match-funding from the Council and other grants available.
  • Developed a dedicated coronavirus business support helpline for those unable to find support online or a guide through the available support.

South Oxfordshire District Council:

Swindon Borough Council

  • Developed a Local Welfare Assistance scheme and a Swindon Emergency Assistance fund to help provide residents with food, gas and electric.
  • Supporting households with Council Tax support to reduce the burden of having to pay Council Tax. By accepting ‘nil’ income declarations from households that rely solely on self-employed earnings, and providing any capital is less than £6,000, residents will be eligible.
  • Individuals will business property and rent and rates expenses, Rates Relief and Business Grants are available to help all small business.

Newport City Council

  • Distributing the business grants available and have so far paid out £24m to local business in just under four weeks.
  • Business support team linked to the Welsh Government’s economic resilience fund and is advising local businesses and residents on how to access funds and support.

Reading Council

Enfield Council

 

Full PDF version available below, alternatively, click here for a downloadable copy.

 

Local_Council_infospread


Latest stories...

Extend sick pay to all workers
Community - July 27th, 2021 | Reading Time: 2 minutes
Imagine you become unwell, and you are unable to receive sick pay. You have to choose between working through it, or going without income. This [...]
Read more
Universal Credit changes ‘cruel and punitive’
Community - July 9th, 2021 | Reading Time: 2 minutes
The government has announced that from 1st August the Minimum Income Floor for Universal Credit, which was suspended due to Coronavirus last year, will be [...]
Read more
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme guidance
Community - April 30th, 2021 | Reading Time: 2 minutes
We are the collective voice of the self-employed. We bring together self-employed and freelance workers so we have a strong voice to lobby for much [...]
Read more
IR35 – an explainer
Community - March 31st, 2021 | Reading Time: 3 minutes
IR35 rule changes will come into force in the private sector on 6th April, just a few days from now.  
Read more
Supporting me as a self-employed worker
Helen Stephens - March 10th, 2021 | Reading Time: 2 minutes
Now that I have a union that represents me, I understand the strength in bringing people with shared experiences together, to change things for the [...]
Read more
Don’t leave the self-employed stranded
Community - February 24th, 2021 | Reading Time: < 1 minute
The Chancellor once said that he would do “whatever it takes” to support people through the pandemic. No matter what kind of employment you’re in, [...]
Read more
Can you join a union if you’re self-employed?
Kate Dearden - February 20th, 2021 | Reading Time: 3 minutes
The world of work is changing rapidly and there are now more self-employed people and freelancers in the UK than ever before. Many have chosen [...]
Read more
Chancellor urged to strike new settlement for self-employed in Budget
Community - February 12th, 2021 | Reading Time: 3 minutes
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been urged to use his Budget on 3rd March to give greater security to self-employed workers and prevent a possible ‘exodus’ [...]
Read more
Renewed calls for extension to self-employed support
Community - January 29th, 2021 | Reading Time: 2 minutes
Today the Labour Party has called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to protect self-employed people by setting the fourth grant of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme [...]
Read more
Interim report into the future of self-employment
Community - December 23rd, 2020 | Reading Time: 2 minutes
Today, the Inquiry into the Future Self-Employment launches its interim report and urges the government to take urgent action to avoid a ‘stampede’ away from [...]
Read more