Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (“SEISS”) was introduced by Government at the start of the pandemic to provide an element of financial support to self-employed individuals whose business was being adversely affected as a consequence of COVID-19 restrictions.

This support proved to be of particular relevance to self-employed PGA Professionals in the United Kingdom during the period when golf was completely shut down between March and May 2020, and as footfall continued to be affected by social distancing, gathering limits and other safety measures once facilities were able to reopen.

To date, eligible claimants have been provided with two lump sum grant payments under the terms of the SEISS, computed on the basis of their average monthly trading profits before tax for the last three years (with alternative arrangements for those who had not been trading for three years), and paid directly into their bank accounts.

As restrictions began to be lifted throughout the UK and businesses were able to start trading at some level, Government intimated that there would be continued support for affected businesses, albeit at a reduced level from that available at the start of the pandemic. To this end, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension was announced, to provide critical support to the self-employed in the form of two grants, each available for three month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021.

CLICK HERE to find out more about the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension.

To be eligible for Grants 3 and 4, the self-employed must have been previously eligible for Grants 1 and 2, although they do not need to have claimed the earlier grants. They must intend to continue to trade, and either be actively trading but at a reduced level due to COVID-19 or have previously been trading but temporarily unable to do so due to the pandemic. The latter, of course, is particularly applicable to self-employed PGA Members if golf facilities and shops are  forced to close, for example during national or local lockdowns.

In a change from the requirements for SEISS Grants 1 and 2, claimants will need to declare that their business has been impacted by reduced demand due to COVID-19 during the qualifying period.

Initially, Grant 3 was set at a level of 20% of the average monthly trading profits which had been computed in order for self-employed people to be eligible for the two earlier grants. However, the level of support was increased to 40% as it became clear that COVID-19 was again becoming more prevalent. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement at the end of October that there would be a national lockdown in England from 5 November to 2 December, the SEISS Extension was further amended so that, for the duration of the month of November, support was to be provided at 80% of average trading profits before reverting to 40% for December and January.

This latter position was superseded when, on 5 November 2020, Government announced that the third grant available under the SEISS Extension would increase to 80% for the entire 3 month period from November 2020 to January 2021, up to a ceiling of £7,500 in total. This returns the level of support to that available during the early days of the pandemic.

The change in the level of support applies to all four nations of the United Kingdom, and it is anticipated that the portal for claims for SEISS Grant 3 will open on 30 November, while information on claiming for Grant 4 will be advised in the coming weeks.

In the period between now and 30 November 2020, PGA Members may want to make preparations to allow them to make their claim for SEISS Grant 3 when the portal opens at the end of this month”