"Invisible" contractors ignored in latest Covid-19 business support.

The government announced the much-awaited Self-employment Income Support Scheme tonight (26/03/20). Whilst this support was very welcome for those self-employed who meet the criteria there was a conspicuous absence in the speech.

There was no mention of Ltd company directors at all in the speech. Many of us had been expecting directors working through their own company to fall under this scheme but upon reading the sparse guidance published it appears not to be the case.

The guidance specifically excludes those who work through their own Ltd company and receive salary and dividends from benefiting from this scheme.

Instead, it looks like the only support available for Ltd Company contractors is via the job retention scheme. If there is no work whatsoever for the director, including admin, marketing etc, then it looks like they may be able to furlough themselves. 

This would enable them to receive 80% of their salary by way of grant. The problem with this is Directors will receive the majority of their income through dividends which are completely ignored for this purpose.

We are still awaiting detailed guidance of the job retention scheme so this may yet change.

Our CEO, Luke Desmond, made the following comments: "I, like many others, was holding out hope that this scheme would include Ltd company contractors. I am devastated that there is so little support for our contractor community.

I can't admit to being surprised, the Governments attitude towards contractors has been made abundantly clear over the last year with their IR35 strategy."

The situation and guidance are changing daily so we will alert you to any changes that may apply to contractors.

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