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.
Guidance and information for self-employed social workers
BASW's commitment to the safety and effective practice of social workers
Voices of over 1700 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.
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)
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.
*New* 29 May 2020 - The Government has announced that there will be a second payment for self-employed to be paid in August 2020. This payment will be a maximum of £6570.
- Payments will be based on your tax records over the past 3 years
- If also employed, your self-employed income make up at least 50% of your total income
- You may continue working in addition to receiving this grant
- 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
Government developments & schemes to support small businesses
- Deferring self-assessment (and VAT if applicable) payments to January 2021
- 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.
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). BASW advises consulting with your accountant to clarify whether you are eligible.
12 May 2020 - The scheme has been extended until October 2020. Find out more
HMRC continue to offer a series of webinars to discuss the Job Retention Scheme and will be covering:
- furloughed workers
- who can apply for the scheme
- following the rules of the scheme
- how much may be claimed
- how to claim and what you’ll need to claim.
Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme from 26 May
A repayment for those who pay themselves and/or staff through a PAYE payroll scheme that was in place prior to 28 February 2020. Payment is applicable to employees who either:
- have coronavirus
- are self-isolating and unable to work from home
- are shielding because they’ve been advised that they’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.
Government support across the UK
- UK Government - View the full government guidance for supporting businesses here
- Northern Ireland - NI Business info Coronavirus business support
- Scotland - Coronavirus advice for businesses in Scotland
- Wales Business Wales COVID-19 Support for Business
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:
- BASW Independents Support Space Adults - 2 June (log-in required)
- BASW Independents closed Facebook discussion group
- BASW Independents LinkedIn group
- Self-employed social work during Coronavirus (COVID-19) consultation (log-in required)
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.