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CEP Covid-19 analysis

Self-employment in the Covid-19 crisis


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.


Jack Blundell and Stephen Machin

22 May 2020     Paper Number CEPCOVID-19-003

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This CEP Covid-19 analysis is published under the centre's Labour markets programme.