Guidance and information for self-employed social workers during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemnic.

Practicing social work during the Coronavirus pandemic presents a number of challenges to the profession. The self-employed workforce are faced with additional pressures and risks in a time when the context and information is changing daily. 

This page is live where we hope to keep individuals informed of current developments. Please bookmark and return regularly. 

A message for independent BASW members by Gerry Nosowska - BASW Chair and Independent social worker

Guidance and information for self-employed social workers

BASW's commitment to the safety and effective practice of social workers 

Coronavirus (Covid-19) BASW updates homepage

Updates on Covid 19 practice and health and safety guidance for social work - Professional practice guidance and resources developed by BASW

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Insurance information for Independents

The recent Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has created unprecedented circumstances introducing new challenges and risks for independent social workers. This has implications on insurance cover and practice. 

Find out more (log-in required)

Covid-19 Vaccinations


All individuals 18+ in England are welcome to book a vaccine through the National Booking System here


Local health boards in Wales are calling for individuals 18+ who may have been missed and eligible for the vaccine to get in touch with them. Click here for more information and contact details of your local health board. 

Northern Ireland

Vaccines may be booked for Trust Vaccination centres for 18+ with over 40s also eligile to book a vaccination at a vaccine. Find out more here.


Everyone who will be 18+ as of 31 July 2021 may register for their first Covid-19 vaccination through the NHS Scotland portal available here

Read Covid-19 and Vaccination: a BASW position statement

Essential worker coronavirus (COVID-19) test

Essential workers are encouraged to apply for a test within the first three days from when symptoms begin. 

Find out more & request a test

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

A fifth grant has been confirmed which will cover May - September 2021. Guidance on claiming a grant is available here

Government developments & schemes to support small businesses 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) 

For those who employ others and/or pay yourself a PAYE salary from your Limited Company – this scheme provides the opportunity for 80% of your businesses salaries to be covered (up to £2500/ month). BASW advises consulting with your accountant to clarify whether you are eligible.

  • Scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021 Find out more
  • Businessess are responsible for National Insurance and pension contributions of furloughed employees. 
  • 70% of wages (maximum of £2187.50) will be covered by the governement. 
  • From 1 August 2021, 60% of wages (maximum of £1875) will be covered by government.
  • Staff may be on full or part-time furlough
  • Monthly deadlines - claims must be submitted within 14 calendar days following the month they relate to. The deadline for September claims is 14 October 2021.
  • Correcting claims:
    • If you claimed too much, notify HMRC as soon as possible. Notifcation and repayment must be completed either 90 days after CJRS payment or from the time of when circumstances change. 
  • Employees will be able to view CJRS payments requested on their behalf through their Personal Tax Account from February. 


New Style Employment and Support Allowance

Should you have a disability of health condition that is having an impact on your self-employed work, you may be eligible for the New Style Employement and Support Allowance

Find out more 

Government support across the UK 

Guidance on running a social work business

Self-employed social workers will ultimately know their business best and responding to the current climate to mitigate risk and ensure personal and business resilience will be all the more challenging.  BASW suggests members to consider the following:

  • Continuity planning including contingencies: financial and fulfilling contractual obligations
  • Communication with clients. This includes negotiating adapted service provision and delivery timescales
  • Embracing digital working
  • Review your business model - exploring opportunities to evolve your skills and services to meet emerging demands

Sharing experiences and advice for Independents

Join the discussion with self-employed colleagues from across the UK to learn how their managing their businesses during these exceptional circumstances:

Return to Practice

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, some independent social workers who are not currently in roles within local authority practice may explore a return to practice.

BASW has published information for those considering this on a permanent or temporary basis. Find out more

For further advice, feedback and concerns, please contact BASW Independents.