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To think self-employed mums are being screwed over in this support package?

(62 Posts)
AiryFairyMum Wed 13-May-20 16:12:23

I dutifully did my claim for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme this morning.

I am self-employed but can't work at the moment because my industry is closed. I have always paid my tax on time, and should have been eligible for 80% of my usual profits (not takings, but that's another story). But because I took maternity leave four years ago and didn't earn as much in that one year, my average is lower, and I'm losing out on a big chunk of what I should be able to apply for.

AIBU to think that maternity leave should be exempt from the calculation for support?

OP’s posts: |
AiryFairyMum Wed 13-May-20 16:15:15

There's a petition here

OP’s posts: |
jgjgjgjgjg Wed 13-May-20 16:16:38

I don't disagree but this is a very broad brush scheme designed very quickly. There are all kinds of anomalies built in. But unfortunately ironing them out would take so much time and money that no one would get paid for months if not years.

ScarfLadysBag Wed 13-May-20 16:17:00

It should be, but it won't ever be because it adds another layer of logistical faffing. The reasoning behind the three-year average is to account for people who have had a year on mat leave, a poor year with ill health, a slow year business wise, a year with a lot of expenses. If you're one of those people then you do lose out, so it's just not women who have taken maternity leave but anyone who has a 'low year' for whatever reason in the three years. As far as the government is concerned, those people are adequately catered for. I think it's nigh on impossible they will make any changes to it, especially when some people, such as the newly self-employed, are getting nothing.

MamaSapphire Wed 13-May-20 16:19:21

I friend of mine is also self-employed and so is her husband. They aren't receiving any support from the government. It's stupid

SerendipitySunshine Wed 13-May-20 16:19:36

It is completely unfair and MPs are raising it as it breaches equality rules. Employed mums aren't penalised in the same way for having taken maternity leave.

SerendipitySunshine Wed 13-May-20 16:21:19

As if you aren't already penalised by only getting Maternity Allowance and nor SMP!

SerendipitySunshine Wed 13-May-20 16:22:55


Hingeandbracket Wed 13-May-20 16:23:35

It's the sort of indirect discrimination that has often ended up in court in the past.

Only women will have had a "low year" due to Mat leave.

I also know more than one single mother who will get nothing due to the ridiculous £50K = 0 cap and they are only just over the cap and by no means wealthy - one is claiming UC and trying to feed her teenage DDs. Sunak and his mates have no proper understanding of ordinary lives.

Monstamio Wed 13-May-20 16:26:34

I'm in the same boat. One of my years is really low due to mat leave and it's going to massively impact my average. Totally unfair. Apparently the chancellor said there's no way for HMRC to tell why a person's profits might be lower im any given year, but seeing as they are the ones who pay maternity allowance, it shouldn't be rocket science.

Oliversmumsarmy Wed 13-May-20 16:36:13

There is always going to be anomalies.

Ds and myself are self employed but because we only started this tax year we will get nothing.

Dd is getting an average of her last “3” years. First year was very very low as she didn’t start till nearer the December time so had only a very small income that year

SerendipitySunshine Wed 13-May-20 16:36:36

They are apparently debating it in parliament, so please ask your MP to lobby for mums. Also that petition is getting towards 10k.

EmbarrassedUser Wed 13-May-20 16:38:19

It’s rubbish but what if you had been off for a year sick? It’s not just women that it will affect.

Bflatmajorsharp Wed 13-May-20 16:39:35

Adoption leave also needs to be taken into account in petitions etc.

It's is overwhelming a female that takes this too.

AiryFairyMum Wed 13-May-20 16:45:47

Yes, definitely adoption leave should be taken into account too. It's like you've already taken the hit of being paid less during the leave itself, now you're paid less as a double whammy.

OP’s posts: |
Iwantarefund Wed 13-May-20 19:19:42

I'm torn over this as yes it's not fair. However neither I or my self employed dc's are getting anything.

In my case it's because illness through disability has reduced my profits, but not of course my overheads. I chose to have children, I didn't choose to become disabled.
I work out of a storage center as a business customer, but I can't get premises help because they not being counted as premises for relief.
I was already hand to mouth but I was paying my own way and avoiding the benefit system.
No help means my business is likely to collapse, but I'm still going to be expected to help pay for all the bailouts and furlough debt being incurred by everyone else, so it would be turkey's voting for bigger Christmas for me, but you do have my sympathy.

arethereanyleftatall Wed 13-May-20 19:22:53

Yup, I get nothing either. My business only took off 2019 and 2020 and they only include assessements 16-19. And you don't have to fill those in if profit isn't under £1000. Which it was. So I get nothing.
Unfortunately, neither does my se husband (over £50k).
Neither of us can work.
No universal credit either as savings.
It is fine for us as we do have savings, so we're lucky, but it's just all so inconsistent.

arethereanyleftatall Wed 13-May-20 19:23:38

*is under

SmileyClare Wed 13-May-20 19:25:25

It's not a particularly fair system.
Lots of SE people have been penalised or fallen through the net. Anyone who hasn't been SE for 3 years, anyone who didn't turn over profit in their first year, people who took time off for sickness or cancer treatment in the last three years to name a few other examples.

Xenia Wed 13-May-20 19:26:35

Nothing at all - not one single penny - for those of us sole traders with before tax profits over £50k as well , even though employees even on £1m a year can get £2k a month furlough! Sunak must hate the honest - those who did not form a company and who declared every last penny whilst the liars and cheats get handed money hand over fist. And guess who will paying for the bail outs next year? Not the liars and cheats, that's clear but many of us who got not a penny under any scheme.

SlipperyLizard Wed 13-May-20 19:29:53

My DH has only a partial year of self employment in his first year, which has brought his average down. But unfortunately the government can’t take into account everyone’s legitimate reason why they had a “low” year, as it would take forever and help is needed now.

arethereanyleftatall Wed 13-May-20 19:31:26

I can't fathom the thinking that employed people over £50k get furloughed up to a max, but self employed over £50k get nothing. Why not up to the same max?

What I think should have happened is every single person should have been given an identical living wage. Or if still working, that salary. Nurses, shop assistants etc would get their salary on top.

Livelovebehappy Wed 13-May-20 19:38:05

My dh is self employed but last year had to have six months off as he had an operation but then the wound got infected, so his expected three months break became nearly six months. His job is quite physical. So his takings last year were very down on previous year, but tbh we are just grateful for this grant and it is what it is. If Boris is going to make allowances for mat leave, he’s going to open a hell of a lot of doors from others with their stories of why they got less takings one particular year. Just take the money and be thankful.

BeetrootRocks Wed 13-May-20 19:41:06

That's a good example of structural discrimination.

It sounds fair but disproportionately penalises women.

arethereanyleftatall Wed 13-May-20 19:42:49

That's exactly it @Livelovebehappy
Op. There's hundreds of reasons self employed people are getting less than they should. Yes, maternity leave is one of them. So is illness for a year. So is start up costs. So is taking some time off one year to care for an ill relative. So is those who don't have 4 years assessments. Etc etc if you're getting something, just be grateful

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