Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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What the Petitions Committee is doing

Petition Include self-employed in statutory sick pay during Coronavirus

4.8 million people are registered self-employed in the UK. Figures are of 2017 according to the Office of National Statisticics. It would be easy enough to work out what each person is entitled to based on their tax returns.
Include self-employed in statutory sick pay.

More details

The self-employed make up 15% of UK's workforce. Majority are not entitled to any sick pay. I want the Government to include us in the recent changes to statutory sick pay because of the Corona19 virus. Excluding us means the Government are running the risk of said people continuing going to work as just like everyone else we have bills to pay and thus spreading the virus.

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Parliament will consider this for a debate

Parliament considers all petitions that get more than 100,000 signatures for a debate

Waiting for 128 days for a debate date

Government responded

This response was given on 26 March 2020

It would not be appropriate to require the self-employed to pay themselves statutory sick pay, as they are their own employer. The welfare system provides a safety net to support the self-employed.

Read the response in full

Statutory Sick Pay is paid to an employee by an employer. Given self-employed people are their own employer, there is no logic for the government to require the self-employed to pay themselves statutory sick pay.

The Chancellor has outlined an unprecedented package of measures to protect millions of people’s jobs and incomes as part of the national effort in response to coronavirus. This includes strengthening the safety-net for the self-employed who will benefit from a relaxation of the earnings rules for self-employed claimants under universal credit and deferring income tax self-assessment payments due in July 2020.

Depending on their individual circumstances individuals can claim Universal Credit and/or new style Employment and Support Allowance.

They will benefit from changes we are making, such as the £20 increase in the UC standard allowance and the increases to the Local Housing Allowance.

And we will temporarily relax the Minimum Income Floor for all self-employed UC claimants affected by the economic impact of Covid-19 from 6 April, for the duration of the outbreak.

Self-employed people unable to work because they are directly affected by Covid-19 or self-isolating will also be eligible for Contributory Employment and Support Allowance. As announced at Budget, this is now payable from the first day of sickness, rather than the eighth.

All these measures ensure that the self-employed are supported by the benefit system so that they can follow Public Health England guidance on social distancing and self-isolation.

Department for Work and Pensions.

Other parliamentary business

Tell us what you want to know about the Government's response to coronavirus

As the result of the large numbers of petitions and signatures we've received on coronavirus, we will be putting your concerns and questions directly to the Government at an evidence session (a question and answer session with representatives from the Government) in the coming days.

Tell us what question(s) you'd like us to the ask the Government and experts in this short survey:

We'll email you again to let you know more about the session, including when it's going to happen, who'll be taking part and how you can watch it live.

We will also email you a link to the video and a transcript of the session afterwards.

Who are we?

We are the House of Commons Petitions Committee. We are a cross-party group of MPs that looks at e-petitions submitted on We are independent from Government. You can find out more about us and our work on our website:

You can follow the Petitions Committee on Twitter: @HoCpetitions

Petitions Committee questions Government on its response to coronavirus

We emailed people who had signed this petition by 16 March to ask for your questions about the Government’s response to coronavirus.

Thank you to everyone who sent us your questions: we received over 60,000.

We put the most requested questions to the Government Minister for Schools, the Minister for Disabled People and the Deputy Chief Medical Officer. These included:

  • How long will schools be closed for and what will the impact be on exams and grades?
  • What financial support will be available for the self-employed?
  • What financial support will be offered to people who are unable to pay their rent or bills due to self-isolation or loss of work?
  • What support will be offered to the events, creative and hospitality industries now that pubs, clubs and cultural venues have been closed?
  • What clear, practical steps can people take to make sure they are following Government guidance on social distancing, household isolation and self-isolation?
  • Who is being tested and why, and will tests be made freely available to everyone?
  • What is the Government doing to ensure that everyone is getting the right information?

Watch the session on YouTube:

Read the transcript:

Because of the large number of petitions that we continue to receive on coronavirus we have sent more questions to the Government to answer.

Read our letters to different Government Ministers:

Some of the questions we’ve asked include:

  • When will testing capacity will be increased; who will testing be available for and will it be free?
  • What is being done to tackle the spread of disinformation?
  • How quickly will support for self-employed people be made available?
  • What will happen to the school year? Will summer holidays be cancelled so that children can catch up?
  • How are foodbanks being supported to continue operating during the outbreak?
  • What is being done to address panic buying and prevent price hikes of key items?
  • Will trains, buses and flights continue to operate? For how long?

We’ll email you again to let you know when we get a response to these questions, and to let you know about any more action the Committee takes.

Who are we?

We are the House of Commons Petitions Committee. We are a cross-party group of MPs that looks at e-petitions submitted on We are independent from Government. You can find out more about us and our work on our website.

You can follow the Petitions Committee on Twitter: @HoCpetitions.

Further information

You can read impartial House of Commons Library information about coronavirus here:

You can find out more about coronavirus and how you can protect yourself and others here:

You can read NHS tips to help if you are worried about coronavirus here:

Share your experiences of using the benefits system during the coronavirus outbreak

A group of MPs called the Work and Pensions Committee would like to hear about people’s experiences of using the benefits system during the coronavirus outbreak.
They’d like to hear from you if:
· you’ve started to claim benefits during the coronavirus outbreak (for example, Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance)
· you were already claiming benefits before the coronavirus outbreak
· you needed support but weren’t able to claim benefits
You can share your experiences here:
They’d like to hear from you by Wednesday 15 April. Your answers will help them to understand the issues people are facing and what questions MPs need to ask the Government. 
They might publish some or all of your responses, or read them out when they’re asking questions in a public Committee meeting or in the House of Commons. So please don’t share any personal information that you don’t want to be public.
You can get updates on their work by following the Committee on Twitter @CommonsWorkpen or on their website:

What is the Work and Pensions Committee?

The Work and Pensions Committee looks at and questions how the Government Department for Work and Pensions:

· is run
· spends money
· decides on its policies

It's a cross-party committee and is independent of the Government.

This is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work:

MPs to debate Government spending on Covid-19 support for employees and the self-employed

On Tuesday 7 July MPs will debate the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and support for the self-employed through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.
The debate should start at around 4pm, although the exact start time will depend on other business, and you can watch the debate live here:

A transcript will be published the following day here:

The debate has been requested by the Chair of the Treasury Committee, which recently published a report on the economic impact of coronavirus, and gaps in support:

This debate is being held as part of several Estimates Day debates, where MPs debate and agree the Government’s spending plans. You can find out more about Estimates Day debates and the subjects that are being debated here:

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