Update to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

SEISS has been extended for a further six months, with two grants available covering each three month period. In order to be eligible, self-employed individuals must have been eligible for the first and second grants, although there is no requirement that they must have claimed those grants. They must also declare that they intend to continue trading and are either currently trading with reduced demand due to coronavirus or are temporarily unable to trade due to coronavirus.

The first grant of the extension will cover the period from 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2021 and will be calculated at 55% of average monthly trading profits, capped at £5,160 for the three month period. The level of this grant has been increased from 40% to 80% for the month of November, to reflect the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme due to the second national lockdown. December and January remain at 40%, giving an overall total for the three months of 55%.

The second grant will cover the period from 1 February 2021 to 30 April 2021. As yet we do not know what level this will be paid at as the government intends to review it closer to the time. As before, the grants will be subject to tax and National Insurance contributions.

The online service will open on 30 November 2020 for claims for the first grant and further guidance will be provided by HMRC on how to claim before that date.

For further details on eligibility for SEISS, please read our earlier article – Assistance if you are self-employed. If you have any questions or need any advice about this matter, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our employment law team.