Older workers and women less likely to claim SEISS

The Government says 2.4 million self employed people have claimed its coronavirus income protection scheme.



Around 2.4 million self employed people have claimed a grant under the self employed income protection scheme set up by the Government to help them survive the coronavirus pandemic.

The figures were released by the Government today and show that the value of these claims total £7 billion, with the average value per claim being £2,900. Around two thirds of those potentially eligible for the scheme for the scheme are male with women who are eligible being slightly less likely to make a claim than men [66% compared to 72%].

Moreover, the average claim for females is lower at £2,300, compared to the average claim for males of £3,200.

The youngest and oldest are least likely to make a claim. Take-up of the SEISS grant is lowest for those aged over 65 (55%) and those aged 16 to 24 (62%).

The sector with the highest number of potentially eligible individuals and the highest proportion of claims is the construction industry. By 31st May construction workers had made 800,000 claims for SEISS totalling £2.9bn.

The figures also show the two regions with the highest number of claims are London (433,000) and the
South East (352,000), reflecting their relative sizes.

IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) noted that there are five million self employed people in the UK, but many were not eligible for the scheme, including freelancers working through limited companies, those whose income was previously over the income threshold and the newly self employed.

Andy Chamberlain, Director of Policy at IPSE , call on the government to do more for these groups, but said the scheme had proven an “essential lifeline” for many. He urged the estimated one million who are eligible for the scheme but have not made a claim to do so and recommended that the government should use the money to help those self employed groups who are not eligible. These scheme was recently extended to August.

He added: “We are a long way from the end of the Coronavirus crisis, and many more of our vital freelance workforce urgently need more support in the coming months to keep their businesses afloat.”

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