"As a matter of priority, we urge the government to ensure the systems to deliver the self-employed income support scheme are ready and in place as soon as possible to ensure cash gets into the pockets of freelancers and the self-employed urgently". Self-employed individuals can claim 80% of their average income over the last three years up to £2,500 ($3,000) a month.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the news yesterday, confirming that freelancers can now apply for taxable grants of up to £2500 a month.
Others have raised concerns over the fact that only those who submitted a tax return for 2018/19 will be able to apply for the scheme - excluding anyone who entered self-employment within the past year.
However, a four-week grace period has been announced from today to allow those who have yet to file their tax returns from a year ago to do so, in order to be able to use the scheme. The scheme is only open to those with annual profits of less than £50,000.
Self-employed workers have been granted some reprieve after the chancellor announced new income benefits for the freelance workforce..
"[People] who have come into self-employment in the past year [are excluded], as they will not have sufficient self-assessment information to qualify them for the scheme", he said.
As Parliament shut down until April 21 due to the escalating pandemic, Johnson told MPs: "We will do whatever we can to support the self-employed, just as we are putting our arms around every single employed person in this country". However, the fact they will have to wait until June to claim the support will do little to soothe some concerns. "Let's keep shouting loud about levels of statutory sick pay and benefits".
In an update, HM Treasury said: "Those who pay themselves a salary and dividends through their own company are not covered by the scheme but will be covered for their salary by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if they are operating PAYE schemes".
"The income support scheme, which is being designed by HMRC from scratch, will cover the three months to May".
The grant will be available from the beginning of June.
Commenting on the proposals, the Shadow Chancellor said: "We're relieved that the Chancellor, responding to the advocacy of the Federation of Small Businesses and trade unions and others, has brought forward the protection scheme for the self-employed".
Ex-freelancer Mr Molyneux echoed: "As a nation, we've been traditionally complacent about acknowledging the challenges and sacrifices that many freelancers, contractors and self-employed people face".
"Now that there is a genuine crisis affecting all areas of the economy, it's shining a light on how vulnerable these workers are".
Meanwhile, Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "For many people that have seen their businesses disappear in the blink of an eye, things like statutory sick pay or universal credit just isn't enough".