To limit the spread of Coronavirus, the Government today announced further measures on social distancing, asking entertainment, indoor leisure and hospitality premises to close temporarily and urging people to only travel if essential. And many children, spent their last day at school for the foreseeable future.
This evening, many employers and workers breathed a huge sigh of relief when the Government announced they would pay 80% of wages for employees unable to work due to the Coronavirus pandemic, worth up to £2,500 a month and a somewhat more realistic welfare package.
The Chancellor’s announcement has largely ignored the self-employed and came after many workers have already been laid off. Many are still wondering how they will make ends meet when any assistance will take weeks to roll out. Wages need to be guaranteed now.
Gig economy workers, freelancers and the self-employed have only been guaranteed statutory sick pay of £94.25 a week – a huge failing in the promise of economic protection.
The Chancellor sets out no obligation for employers to keep staff on, and no commitment to full wages being paid, with the cap on incomes meaning that many people will take a significant pay cut.
If employed people get 80% of their income guaranteed up to £2,500 a month during the Covid 19 crisis, so should other workers. We are all in this together and no one should be left behind.