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CEP Covid-19 analysis
Self-employment in the Covid-19 crisis
Jack Blundell and Stephen Machin
May 2020
Paper No' CEPCOVID-19-003:
Full Paper (pdf)

Tags: covid-19; self-employed workers; unemployment; seiss; cjrs

The Covid-19 shock is one of the largest economic shocks that has taken place in living memory. The crisis has served to highlight the challenges governments face in extending social insurance to self-employed workers, for whom it is difficult to verify work behaviour. Chancellor Rishi Sunak described designing a “deliverable and fair” support package for self-employed workers as “incredibly complicated”. The self-employed, left out from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) covering furloughed workers, were offered a lifeline in the form of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). As an entirely new form of government support, it is important to understand the extent to which the self-employed are accessing the SEISS and, among the self-employed, who the beneficiaries are.