Category Archives: Welfare and benefits

Useful bookmarks on freelance employment and tax policies

Here’s something written by Alan Lockey for Demos – “Free Radicals – Britain’s self-employed millions urgently need a new deal…” [pdf], and an IPSE’s 2017 ‘tax manifesto’ paper on “A Fairer, More Efficient Tax System” [pdf] (h/t Martin McIvor)

Posted in Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers, IR35, Personal Service Companies, Tax, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How inflation is affecting individual households

Further to the previous post on the cost of living, Bectu reps may wish to circulate this Office for National Statistics (ONS) page on how to calculate your personal cost-of-living changes.

Posted in Economics, Housing costs, Inflation, Low pay, Minimum wage rates, Pay & inflation, Wages and Pay-rates, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Getting the current cost-of-living crisis in perspective

How can we understand the current cost of living crisis in perspective when talking to Bectu members about their wages? One way would be to look at it over a few years. In the past few days, coincidentally, I’ve had … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Freelance working, Inflation, Low pay, Pay & inflation, Wages and Pay-rates, Wealth inequality, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

EntitledTo – understanding benefits entitlements

The EntitledTo website is worth bookmarking. It aims to offer reliable estimates of benefit entitlements for individuals based on the detailed knowledge that they claim to have of the UK’s social security system. The site has some useful benefits calculators … Continue reading

Posted in Pensions, Wages and Pay-rates, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Knowing how much retirement income you need

Bectu is going to keep nagging freelance members to get a pension because freelancers in the UK generally have shockingly underfunded retirements. There are lots of other posts on this site about pensions if you want to read into this. … Continue reading

Posted in Freelance working, Low pay, Pensions, Wages and Pay-rates, Welfare and benefits | Tagged | Leave a comment

“… the self-employed remain something of an inconvenient afterthought”

There’s a useful post here from Paul Johnson of the Institute of Fiscal Studies highlighting a number of factors that leads to the conclusion that our ecoomy and employment / tax / benefits framework has been designed around an economy … Continue reading

Posted in CJRS & SEISS, Coronavirus, Economics, Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers, Management, Personal Service Companies, Productivity, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Universal Credit and self-employed earnings

The minimum income floor was reintroduced from August 2021, having been suspended soon after the start of the lockdown in April 2020. Broadly, the Work Allowance and taper rate are the same as for employed people. However, a ‘Minimum Income … Continue reading

Posted in Low pay, Minimum wage rates, Wages and Pay-rates, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Calculating freelance income for the purposes of Universal Credit

All of the basic info about this is fairly easy to find on the .gov website – this is a good place to start. The key thing to remember is that, when you are self-employed, the government tends to think … Continue reading

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13,000 SEISS and CJRS investigations launched (so far)

Looking through my back-issues of Farmer’s Weekly, there was a claim that… “…HMRC was allocated £100m of funding in the last Budget for investigations and the recouping of a suspected £3.5bn in fraudulent Covid-19 support scheme claims.” In late June, … Continue reading

Posted in CJRS & SEISS, Coronavirus, Freelance working | Tagged | Leave a comment

Class based exclusion in the creative sector

In a huge wake-up call for the creative sector, the (NESTA) Creative Industries Policy and Research Centre have published a damning report on class-based exclusion. The UK’s #CreativeIndustries would need to employ 250,000 more working-class people to be as socio … Continue reading

Posted in Equality, Low pay, Minimum wage rates, Skills & capacity, Wages and Pay-rates, Wealth inequality, Welfare and benefits | Tagged | Leave a comment

Particularly low pensions and savings levels among self-employed workers

I try to avoid hyperbole on this blog, but the IFS report on ‘Retirement saving of the self-employed‘ makes for shocking reading. As per the intro summary… “The proportion of self-employed workers contributing to a private pension has been steadily … Continue reading

Posted in Pay & inflation, Pensions, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , | 1 Comment

MPs call for Pension ‘sidecar’ to help workers with no/low cash reserves

This is not news (it’s dated April 2021), but something that Prospect’s pensions specialist Stewart Mott has pointed me at. Broadly, it’s a proposal for a new ‘sidecar’ savings mechanism within pension auto-enrolment to encourage employees to build up emergency … Continue reading

Posted in Gig economy workers, Low pay, Pensions, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Housing issues – where to get help

This is the best round-up of help available to people with housing issues that I’ve found recently….

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The Freelance Deal: 1. Employment Rights, Tax and Pensions

This is the first draft of the policy document that has been agreed by the Tax, Employment Rights and Pensions Working Group of London Production Division (LPD) on the 7th May 2020. It is a contribution to Bectu’s proposed ‘New … Continue reading

Posted in Employment Contracts, Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers, IR35, Long hours, Management, Pensions, Personal Service Companies, Skills & capacity, Tax, Welfare and benefits, Wellbeing, Work-life balance | Tagged | Leave a comment

Useful correction on welfare entitlements for people who are self-isolating

At #PMQs, Boris Johnson suggested that everybody who's isolating due to Covid is entitled to the equivalent of living wage while they isolate. This isn't true. What they are entitled to 👇https://t.co/wsnSjvzqYg — Full Fact (@FullFact) July 22, 2021

Posted in CJRS & SEISS, Coronavirus, Freelance working, Welfare and benefits | Tagged | Leave a comment

TUC insecure work report

The TUC have published a special edition of their Jobs and Recovery monitor,and this time it’s focussed on Insecure Work [PDF]. From the exec summary… The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the reality of insecure work in the UK. Care workers, … Continue reading

Posted in Employment, Employment Contracts, Employment Law and Rights, Employment status, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Gig economy workers, Low pay, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

‘Work from home’ tax relief

Employees who have worked from home during the pandemic but are now returning to offices can still claim tax relief on household expenses for this tax year. HMRC is actually pushing information out about this, specifically targeting people who worked … Continue reading

Posted in Coronavirus, Tax, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

SEISS update – 5th tranche announced.

The Treasury have just published details of the 5th and SEISS grant. Details here [pdf]. The more concise public information page on this is here. The eligibility for this is the same as the eligibility for the fourth grant (as … Continue reading

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Statutory Sick Pay and freelance working

For the purposes of this post, I’m taking the term ‘freelance’ in its broadest form. Many people who are on either short fixed-term contracts, or non-permanent PAYE contracts tend to regard themselves as ‘freelancers’. People who are ‘self-employed’ have few … Continue reading

Posted in Disability equality, Employment Law and Rights, Equality, Freelance working, Freelancer rights, Illness and disability, National Insurance Contributions (NICs), Welfare and benefits | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What the Wilson era can teach us.

Welcome to an era when a stronger welfare state was seen as a pre-condition for economic dynamism. When a robust social infrastructure helped workers take risk. New piece by me on why Harold Wilson’s forgotten agenda is relevant to the … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Employment, Labour Party, Low pay, Management, Politics, Productivity, Welfare and benefits | Tagged , | Leave a comment

TUC calls for furlough to be extended to match lockdown extensions

Frances O’Grady: “Government must delay asking businesses to make contributions to the furlough scheme in July and extend the scheme as long as needed.”

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Low-paid most likely to be unemployed when furlough ends.

Low-paid workers face the highest risk of losing their jobs when the UK government’s furlough scheme ends in September, according to analysis by the Resolution Foundation.

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Inequalities rise – ONS

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that, to the financial year ending 2020, after taxes and benefits income, household income has continued on a general trend for rising income inequality in recent years.

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Relative poverty among working households

Poverty rate among working households in UK is highest ever. IPPR thinktank blames higher rents, rising property prices and childcare costs for relative poverty reaching 17.4%.

Posted in Economics, Low pay, Wages and Pay-rates, Welfare and benefits | Leave a comment

Self-employed income support scheme – what kind of losses count?

As the Covid-19 lockdown eases, there are still Bectu members who are claiming support under the fourth grant of the Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS). This can be claimed when… “…you reasonably believe there will be a significant reduction … Continue reading

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A post-covid rethink of the welfare state?

The Resolution Foundation has called for a post-covid rethink of the welfare state. The report is here [pdf] Mike Brewer, Chief Economist at the Resolution Foundation, said:

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