I’m self-employed or on a zero hours contract. Can I get statutory sick pay? If not, what can I do if I need to self-isolate?

To get SSP you need to be an employee (not self-employed) and earn an average of £118 per week. For those of us that can’t claim SSP, the government announced they are making it easier to claim Universal Credit and ESA (Employment and Support Allowance). Some of the measures that have been put in place to make claiming easier include:

Not needing to provide a ‘fit note’ to make a new claim for UC or ESA;
A month’s UC paid upfront as an advance without needing to attend the jobcentre;
The seven day wait for new ESA claimants has been reduced, and will now be payable from day one.

More info:

Also, the government have now announced that self-employed workers may be able to receive a one-off grant in June. The grant (The Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme) is available to self-employed workers who have an average trading profit of less than £50,000 over the past three tax years. Or, if we have only been self-employed for one year (2018/19 tax year) our earnings must be less than £50,000.

The grant is only available to people whose self-employed earnings make up more than half of their annual income. The government will be in touch directly with those of us who are eligible for the grant. The grant will cover a three-month period (March – May) and will cover 80% of lost earnings up to £2,500 per month (so £7,500 in all).

More info on The Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme is available on the government’s website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme