Corona virus what is the effect on self employed construction workers

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Electricians , carpenters, bricklayers and self employed construction workers are up in arms about the governments stance on the self employed offering them only £94.25 a week, with five million self employed standing to lose thousands a month through the governments inability to shut the airports and limit the outbreak of the virus.

The TUC has outlined ways to put pressure on the government to match the %80 wage bail out for the employed, but have abandoned the self employed.

TUC said “We’re glad the government has agreed to help fund wages for employees, but what about the millions of self-employed who also face collapsing earnings?

Following intensive negotiations with the TUC and unions, the government last week announced an urgent package of measures to support workers through the coronavirus crisis.

Its new job retention scheme, which provides wage support to employees who are temporarily laid off due to coronavirus, was a big win for the union movement.

The government has promised to pay 80% of workers’ wages to avoid employers letting them go, so there’s no excuse for mass redundancies.

But while this is an important breakthrough, it’s not enough.

Friday’s announcement will mean a lot to any employee whose job is at risk, but the lack of support for the millions of self-employed workers in the UK and the lack of action on statutory sick pay (SSP) were both big disappointments.

We also still need to see a wider package of support for household finances, and clarity over whether the job retention scheme is available to parents and carers who need time off to care for children

Construction workers and unions are calling on the Government to extend its wage support lifeline to the industry’s army of self-employed workers.

The call comes amid mounting concern that self-employed workers will be axed because they are not eligible for the Government’s job protection scheme announced last Friday.

There is also concern that Boris Johnson will take powers for a full countrywide lockdown hitting construction sites as coronavirus cases rise”.

Nationaltradesmen has also learnt that Unite is also pressuring the government to cronavirus crisis to extend the scheme to the self employed.

The union warned construction sites around the country were already reducing the number of workers employed because of the coronavirus epidemic.

These numbers seeking a lifeline will swell with further closures expected in the coming weeks as the lockdown tightens.

At the last official count around 1.03m construction workers were paid via the CIS scheme with a further 300,000  paid via umbrella companies. This amounts to around half of the entire construction workforce.

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “The UK’s bricklayers, carpenters, electricians and plumbers will be deeply worried that if they are officially self-employed they will not be protected by the government’s scheme.

“Most construction workers are the primary breadwinners in their family and swift action is needed to ensure that they are protected throughout the coronavirus crisis.”

She added: “In the long term a commission is needed into construction employment to ensure that workers who survive on a feast and famine existence secure proper employment protections.”

Earlier this month Unite’s attempts to waive the qualifying time on industry sick pay during the crisis was rejected or ignored by employers.

The call was made to encourage workers who were ill or needed to self-isolate to take off time to avoid infecting others.

Have you had any recompense from your employer if you are self employed would like to know.