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Covid-19: Self-Employed Women

Volume 677: debated on Wednesday 17 June 2020

We have introduced an unprecedented package of support for businesses to get through this incredibly challenging period. More than £10 billion of grants has been paid and over 830,000 businesses of all sizes have been able to access more than £34 billion of finance through our loan scheme. As of 7 June, the self-employed income support scheme has paid out on 2.6 million applications worth £7.5 billion. Of these, 701,000 claims were from women, totalling £1.609 billion.

Can the Minister provide any extra help for new mothers whose periods of maternity leave mean either that they are not entitled to help under the self-employment support scheme or that their entitlement is significantly reduced?

The Government clearly understand the challenges for the self-employed, in particular, arising from the arrival of a new baby or adoption. We are working on additional guidance for individuals who took a break from work to care for a newborn or a newly adopted child, and for whom no income tax self-assessment tax return was submitted.