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 

Voices of over 1200 social workers including Independents have fed into BASW's online survey. Find out more on the actions BASW is taking to ensure the safety of the workforce. 

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

The government has extended income protection schemes to self-employed workers paying grants of 80% of their sole trader profits up to £2500/ month.

  • Payments will be based on your tax records over the past 3 years
  • If you’ve missed the January 2020 tax deadline – you must submit your return by 23 April 2020 to be eligible 
  • This scheme is not available to those running a Limited Company
  • The Government are aiming to make payments on 1 June 2020 (backdated 3 months)
  • Applications to the scheme have not yet opened 

View the full scheme here

Government developments & schemes to support small businesses 

  • Deferring self-assessment (and VAT if applicable) payments to January 2021
  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - 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) 
  • The most recent IR35 reform that was scheduled to come into force next month has been postponed until April 2021. Whilst this legislation impacts the private sector, organisations were reviewing contractual arrangements impacting independent social workers. We anticipate this delay will provide further campaigning opportunities for the private sector to challenge this reform. 

View the full government guidance for supporting businesses here 

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:

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